On December 3, 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that all combat jobs will be open to women with no exceptions. He was quick to add, “…as long as they qualify and meet the standards.”
His announcement received little attention. Probably because women have already an increased military presence and the idea of restricting any jobs to women is now so archaic as to be nonsensical. But if that were completely true, why did Carter feel he had to make a qualifying statement?
Before looking into Carter’s (actually President Obama’s) policy change, it’s important to acknowledge that since the dawn of time, women have fought, when necessary, in traditional male military roles. And today, military women are put in harm’s way when assigned to combat areas while in support roles.
What is different in the new policy is that women will now participate in all combat roles as a matter of policy versus as a matter of necessity. A turn of events with many potential consequences; of which I will limit myself to three.
Mars versus Venus
Many traditionalists would argue women typically don’t have the physical strength and the male-warrior persona necessary to perform combat duties. This line of argument is often popularly put in terms of the differences in Mars and Venus (DMV).
However, feminists often point out that any gender differences are minor or are conditions of upbringing. Nevertheless, when convenient, feminists love to point out the violent nature of men and the nurturing disposition of women; the very characteristics of Mars and Venus. In fact, the subtle effect of Venus in the house of Mars has not gone unnoticed. Over the past several decades, the influx of women into the military has led to the expression “the feminization of the military.”
[RELATED on OCR: “Turn In Your Man Card (Happy Father’s Day!)”]
Part of the problem with the DMV argument, from both the Left and Right, is that warfare has changed drastically since when the primary requirement was to drive a 50 pound ax into your enemy’s skull. Today, you can kill your enemy from an air conditioned room in Virginia while being eight months pregnant.
But we can’t leave the argument there, because what we’re really talking about are not women piloting drones but being grunts. Drones have a purpose, but it’s the grunts, the boots on the ground, that win wars; that is, if their political leaders allowed them to win.
Therefore, the DMV argument really gets down to, given some objective standards; can women be grunts, let alone members of Special Forces? The short answer is, yes. But now we get into Carter’s qualification conditions.
If we could discuss this topic rationally, the problem would be put in terms of an equality of opportunity. Let’s set X much greater than Y and say at this time X% of males are capable of meeting combat standards but only Y% of women are. Then we should be satisfied to see those “natural” ratios in combat ranks. (Special Forces numbers might differ.) These ratios may naturally adjust over time if in nature versus nurture, nurture has an edge.
However, we cannot discuss this rationally, because the new policy will quickly devolve to sexism and equality of outcome. And thus, over time, politics will require a quota system to ensure the ratio of men and women in combat roles is the same as in society. And with that quota system come the lawyers, the changes in standards, and the potentially dangerous outcomes for both the men and women in the trenches.
There are indications, discussed here, that this is already happening.
Mars and Venus share foxholes; Mars bridled
If it was just a case of DMV, we could wrap up the discussion now. But then there is the second issue that deals with male/female sexual tension and its negative consequences to combat readiness. If you argue that men and women serving together as grunts sharing a foxhole is different than men and women writing software sharing a cubicle, your words would fall on national leaders who see, hear, and speak no evil.
In all cultures, human sexual norms are a complex set of rules that are sometimes dictated down by a ruling class as opposed to being allowed to evolve organically. Progressives view historical western sexual norms as patriarchally driven. Therefore, if there is a sexuality problem with men and women working as closely as sometimes is required for grunts in combat, it is a male problem and must be suppressed and replaced; something which is rigorously occurring in the military today.
This issue is cousin to the transgender locker room problem. Here the Left would also argue that opposition is the result of conditioning and must also be suppressed and replaced; something which is rigorously occurring in society today.
But my aim here is not to solve problems of human sexuality. My only comment is, “If life were only that simple.”
Venus’ Motherhood Devalued
The new policy can thank society’s devaluation of motherhood for partial support. Patriarchalism aside, a primary reason why societies protected women from combat was because of their value in the reproductive process; a process where men were mostly a fungible commodity. A tribe could easily afford to lose a substantial number of young male warriors, but no tribe could survive with an equivalent loss of young women; in battle or in changing cultural norms.
The Left has successfully detached men from their traditional parental and gender roles and Liberals are fighting aggressively to do the same for women. This is why Carter’s qualification statement was really meant to cut off criticism from traditionalists. As discussed above, it has no real meaning under equality of outcome.
It’s difficult to say where all this will go or what unforeseen problems this new policy will create. On the other hand, it may work with no major detrimental consequences! But the military is just a reflection of the society it serves. So one thing is certain; we have seen great changes in our society over the past few decades and will see many more in the future as we leap blindly into our brave new world.
Tony Corvo is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with a Ph.D. in physics. He is active in local Beavercreek, Ohio politics and is the author of All Politics is Loco: Musings from the Conservative Next Door. He and his wife have two grown daughters. He writes extensively on local issues. Many of his recent articles can be found at taxbusters.wordpress.com/author/phdmc2.
Permission to reprint or otherwise distribute, in whole or in part, with express attribution to Ohio Conservative Review or OhioConservativeReview.com is granted.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
Photo: By Spc. William Hatton (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/35072) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The fourth Republican debate’s “main event” was held on November 10, 2015 at the Milwaukee Theater in Milwaukee, WI and was hosted by Fox Business and The Wall Street Journal. Moderators were Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo, and Gerard Baker. The winnowing process continued as Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) were moved to the earlier session, which had dropped former Gov. George Pataki (NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) from its group. The standings were from data of four more recent national polls.
From left to right on the television screen, we had Gov. John Kasich (Ohio since 2011), Gov. Jeb Bush (Florida 1999-2007), Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida since 2011), Donald Trump (real estate developer), Dr. Ben Carson ( Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 1984-2013), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas since 2013), Carly Fiorina (CEO of Hewlett-Packard 1999-2005), and Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky since 2011).
Debate questions will be listed in the order they were given with a commentary and analysis at the end of this article.
[Cavuto to Trump: Many protestors are asking for $15/ hour minimum wage. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo is the first to propose it to his state workers. As Trump’s tax plan exempts couples making up to $50,000 from federal taxation, are you sympathetic to the call for a $15 minimum wage?]
Trump: He is not. Recalling his belief that the U.S. doesn’t win anymore, too high wages is part of the problem causing our inability to compete globally. “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out. They have to work really hard and they have to get into that upper stratum. But we cannot do this (increase in the min. wage) if we are going to compete with the rest of the world. We just can’t do it.”
[Cavuto to Carson: He was asked to comment on the difference between his position that one minimum wage doesn’t fit all and that, perhaps, there should be a lower starter wage vs. the protestors who want nothing less than $15/ hour.]
Carson: “People need to be educated on the minimum wage. Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. It’s particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8% of black teenagers have a job… If you lower those wages, that comes down.”
He recalled is first job working as a lab assistant and others, he would not have been hired if he was required to be paid “a large amount of money.” However, it gave him the various experiences to “become a responsible individual.” All of this allowed him “to ascend the ladder of opportunity in this country. That’s what we need to be thinking about… rather than how do we give them everything and keep them dependent.” (loud applause)
[Cavuto to Rubio: Since the senator called the Democratic debate a “night of giveaways”, what does he feel should be taken back?]
Rubio: He began that despite the fact that his parents were not rich (his father was a bartender and his mother was a maid), they were successful. They were able to buy a home in a stable neighborhood and ensured their children were better off than they were. They also retired with dignity. This is the “American dream,” but it’s really a universal dream held throughout the world.
“It is a reminder—that every country in the world has rich people. What makes America special, is that we have millions and millions of people who are not rich, but through hard work and perseverance are able to be successful. The problem is that today people are not successful working as hard as ever because the economy is not providing jobs that pay enough. If I thought that raising the minimum wage was the best way to help people to increase their pay, I would be all for it, but it isn’t. In the 21st century, it’s a disaster. If you raise the minimum wage, you’re going to make people more expensive than a machine. And that means all this automation that’s replacing jobs and people right now, is only going to be accelerated.”
“Here ‘s the best way to raise wages: make America the best place in the world to start a business or to expand an existing business. Tax reform and regulatory reform, bringing our debt under control, fully utilizing our energy sources so we can reinvigorate manufacturing. Repeal and replace Obamacare and make higher education faster and easier to access, especially vocational training. And for the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatized vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers. (cheering) And if we do that (cheering) and if we do this, if we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans and we will be able to leave everyone better off without making anyone worse off.”
[Bartiromo: A Facebook question concerning what the candidates will do to address our nearly $20 trillion in federal debt. To Kasich: Since he helped balance the federal budget under President Clinton, what steps does he offer now (especially in view of others’ tax plans which would raise the deficit) with the deficit’s interest payments schedule to triple over the next few years and Social Security heading toward insolvency?]
Kasich: First of all, in his state of Ohio, the minimum wage has increased slightly. Secondly, he understands difficult times. His father was a mailman and his grandfather was a coal miner who died from black lung disease. It took very little for his town to turn toward desperate financial times. His tax plan would cut taxes without adding to our children’s’ debt. It would also lower taxes for businesses so that they would be more likely to stay here. And only his budget would get to a balanced budget by the end of a second term.
“We hear a lot of promises in this debate, a lot of promises about these tax cuts, or tax schemes that sometimes I call them. Hillary and the Democrats promise everything on the spending side, we’ve got to be responsible about what we propose on the tax side. Yes, lower taxes, lower spending. My web site: johnkasich.com will show exactly how we balance the budget. I balanced the budget in Washington as the chief architect and I balanced in Ohio for one reason: when you balance the budget and cut taxes, people get work. And our most important moral purpose, as leaders in the political system is to make sure we create an environment for job creation so people can live their dreams and realize their God-given potential. That’s why it’s so important. And for those at the bottom, we’ve got to do what we can to train them so they can move up. But to just the other way is not acceptable.”
[Bartiromo to Kasich: “Did you want to name any specific steps, sir?]
Kasich: Reduce growth of Medicare from 7% to a 5% growth and he has several ways to do that. In Ohio, the Medicaid growth went from 10% to 2.5% without cutting benefits or dropping anyone. He’s an innovator and doesn’t care about what special interest groups or lobbyists want. In addition, “we freeze non-defense discretionary spending for eight years. We also put an increase in defense spending. Our tax cuts balance out and at the end of the day we get to a balanced budget.”
PREVENTING ANOTHER RECESSION
[Bartiromo to Cruz: The International Monetary Fund1,2 has lowered its expectations for growth in the U.S. and a likely recession again next year. What other elements are needed besides his 10% income tax and 16% business tax to actually create jobs?]
Cruz: “Economic growth is foundational to every to every other challenge we have.” In the last seven years. Our economy has averaged only 1.2% growth annually, “and the IMF is telling us that this is the normal. But it doesn’t have to be.”
There are three ways the government can assist the economy. The first is tax reform and he has a “bold and simple flat tax, 10% for every American that would produce booming growth and 4.9 million new jobs within a decade. The second is regulatory reform… and the third element is sound money. Every time we’ve pursued all three of those, whether in the 1920’s with Calvin Coolidge or the 1960’s with JFK or the 1980’s with Ronald Reagan, the result has been incredible economic growth. We have done it before, and with leadership, we can do it again.”
(Bartiromo: “Thank you, sir.”)
Kasich: “Excuse me.”
(Bartiromo: “Governor Bush”)
Kasich: “I’d like to make a comment.”
Bush: “You’ve already made two comments, John. It’s my turn.”
(Bartiromo: “We have more questions for you Gov. Kasich coming up.”)
Bush: “I got about four minutes in last debate and I’m going to get my questions now.”
Kasich: “I appreciate that, Jeb, and I’m all for ya. But at some point I want to talk about a value added tax and an eleven twelve trillion dollar tax cuts that will put our kids way deeper in the hole than they’ve been…”
[Bartiromo, regains order with this question to Bush: According to the participation rates3, 40% of Americans are without a job or have given up looking for one. He has promised a return to 4% growth which we haven’t seen since 2000. What specific regulations would he change and how they lead us to the 4%?]
Bush: Lack of growth makes more reliant on government which adds to the deficit. Tax reform is needed and he claimed The Wall Street Journal called his the most pro-growth tax proposal of all the candidates. He would eliminate a lot of deduction and cut the corporate rate to 20% and “allow full expensing of investing, which would create higher wage jobs.”
“On the regulatory side, I think we need to repeal every rule that Barack Obama has in terms of work-in-progress. Every one of them! (cheering) And start over. For those that are already in existence, the regulation of the internet, we have to start over, but we ought to do that. Clean Power Act, we ought to repeal that, and start over on that. The Waters of the United States Act, which is going to be devastating to agriculture and many industries, we should repeal that.” Why? Because the “economic costs far exceed the social benefit.”Small businesses are closing faster than are being started. Hillary Clinton hives Obama’s economic policies an “A” — astounding in the light of the fact that 10% of people either aren’t working or have given up. “One in seven are living in poverty, that’s not an ‘A.’ On e in five children are on food stamps. That’s not an ‘A’. It may be the best that Hillary Clinton can do, but it’s not the best America can do.” (applause)
[Baker to Fiorina: How will she respond to the claim that Democratic presidents are better at creating jobs than Republicans, based on the fact that monthly job creation for the Obama years has been around 110,000; 240,000 for the Clinton years and only 13,000 during George W. Bush’s years?]
Fiorina: She met a fortyish woman recently who expressed fear for her children’s future. While it’s true that problems from our government have increased under the Democrats, “but the truth is this government has been growing bigger and bigger, more corrupt, less effective, crushing the engine of economic growth for a very long time. This isn’t just about replacing a Democrat with a Republican now. It’s about actually challenging the status quo of big government. Big government has created a big business called politics. And there are lots of people invested in that big business called politics. Specifically, we need to actually do five things to really get this economy going again.
- We need to go to zero-based budgetting4 so that we know where every dollar is being spent. We can challenge any dollar, cut any dollar, move any dollar. (applause)
- We need to actually reform the tax code. Go to a three-page tax code. Yes, there are plans which will reform our tax code to three pages.
- In addition to rolling back what President Obama has done, we need to do a top-to-bottom review of every single regulation on the books. That hasn’t been done in fifty years.
- We need to pass the REIGNS Act5 so Congress is in charge of regulation, not nameless faces bureaucrats accountable to no one. We’ve become a nation of rules, not a nation of laws.
- And finally, we actually, yes, have to hold government officials accountable for their performance.
All of this has to be done and the citizens of this nation must help a President Fiorina, get it done. We must take our government back.” (to increasing applause)
[Baker to Paul: Fifty years ago, the average CEO salary was twenty times that of the average worker. Now, it’s about three hundred times. Does this gap matter?]
Paul: “Absolutely…It seems to be worse in cities run by Democrats. Governors – . (applause) States run by Democrats and the country is currently run by Democrats. So, the thing is, let’s look for root causes.”
But the Federal Reserve is also responsible by artificially keeping interest rates below market rates, which has made it more difficult for average Americans to earn interest. It’s almost to the point of negative interest. Created money has first gone to the large banks in New York, but has not filtered into the economy. Income inequality is couple with a devaluation of the currency which hurts the poor the most. Do we really want the Federal Reserve to have such control over interest rates and we also need root causes determined for events like the housing crisis. “But the bottom line is if you want les income inequality, move to a city with a Republican mayor or a state with a Republican governor.” (applause)
IMAGE OF CARSON’S CAMPAIGN
[Cavuto to Carson: As his campaign is being scrutinized more than Sen. Barack Obama’s in 2008, does he feel his campaign is being hurt by it, especially since his brand is one of trust?]
Carson: “Well, first of all, thank you for not asking me what I said in the tenth grade, I appreciate that. (laughter) But uh, (Cavuto: (I’ll just forget that follow-up!”) The fact of the matter is, you know, we should vet all candidates. I have no problem with being vetted. What I do have a problem with, is being lied about. And then ,putting that out there (applause) the truth. And, I don’t even mind that so much if they do it about everybody like people on the other side. But, when I look at somebody like Hillary Clinton, who, who sits there and tells her daughter and a government official that, no, this was a terrorist attack and tells everybody else that it was video. Where I came from, they call that a lie. And, uh – (cheering applause) I, I think that’s very different from, you know, someone misinterpreting when I said I was offered a scholarship to West Point, that’s the words that they used. But, I’ve had many people come and they’ve said the same thing to me. That’s what people do in those situations. We have to start treating people the same and find out what they really think and what they’re made of. People who know me, know that I’m an honest person.”
[Bartiromo to Trump: The Obama Administration is appealing to the Supreme Court, a recent court decision striking down his plan to prevent deportation of five million immigrants living here illegally. These immigrants have a great impact on our economy. What would he do about it?]
Trump: He was thrilled with that decision “and we don’t have enough of those decisions” against Obama’s tendency to write executive orders at will. Illegal immigration is hurting us economically and from many standpoints. Drug problems in the inner city are related to this. “The courts have not been ruling in our favor. And it was a 2-1 decision and it was a terrific thing… We are a country of laws. We need borders. We will have a wall. The wall will be built. The wall will be successful. And if you think walls don’t work, all you have to is ask Israel. The wall works, believe me, properly done. Believe me.” (applause)
[Bartiromo to Trump: “Can you just send five million people back with no affect on the economy?”] — then Trump vs. Kasich
Trump: “You have to bring people, you have to send people out. Look, we are, Maria, we are a country of laws. We either have a country or we don’t have a country. We are a country of laws. Going to have to go out, and they’ll come back, but they’ll have to go out, and hopefully, they get back. We have no choice if we’re going to run our country properly and if we’re going to be a country.”
Kasich: “Maria, can we comment on that?… Can we comment on that?” (Baker: “Yes, one quick comment, yes sir.”) He recounted that 1986, President Reagan said law-abiding immigrants could stay, but we didn’t build the wall effectively. “We need to control our border just like people have to control who goes in and out of their house. But, if people think we are going to ship eleven million people, who are law-abiding, who are in this country and somehow pick them up at their house and ship them out of Mexico, to Mexico? Think about the families. Think about the children. So, you know what the answer really is: if they’ve been law-abiding, they pay a penalty, they get to stay. We protect the wall. Anybody else comes over, they go back. But for the eleven million people – come on folks, you know we can’t pick them up and ship them across, back across the border. It’s a silly argument. (applause) It’s not an adult argument. It makes no sense.”
Trump: “All I can say is, you’re lucky in Ohio that you struck oil, that’s for one thing. Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower, good President, great President, people liked him. “I Like Ike,” right? The expression: “I Like Ike,” moved a million and a half illegal immigrants out of this country, moved them just beyond the border, they came back. Moved them again beyond the border, they came back. Didn’t like it. Moved them waaay south, they never came back. (laughter) Dwight Eisenhower. You don’t get nicer. You don’t get friendlier. They moved a million and a half people out. We have no choice. We have no choice. (followed by a little chaos)
Kasich: “He mentioned my name …(more chaos)… You’re not going to have my back. I’m going to have my back. I want to say a couple things here. First of all—“
Trump: “You should let Jeb speak.”
Kasich: “We have grown—we have grown in the state of Ohio (more undecipherable Trump comments evoking laughter) Hold on, in the state of Ohio, in the state of Ohio, we have grown 347,000 jobs. Our unemployment is half of what it was. Our fracking industry, energy industry, MAY have contributed 20,000, but if Mr. Trump understood the real jobs come in the downstream not in the upstream, but in the downstream. And that’s where we’re going to get our jobs. But Ohio is diversified and little false little things, sir, they really don’t work when they come o the truth. So, the fact is that I’m suggesting, we can’t ship eleven million people out of this country. Children would be terrified and it will not work… And someone’s …. (talked over)”
Trump: (talking over Kasich after the governor’s buzzer) “…built an unbelievable company worth billions and billions of dollars. I don’t have to hear from this man. Believe me, I don’t have to hear from him.” (laughter, then boos)
[Baker: “Mr. Trump, you yourself said let Gov. Bush speak.”]
Bush: “Thank you, Donald, for letting me speak at the debate. That’s really nice of you. (laughter) What a generous man you are.” The governor said it’s impractical and against our American values to attempt to deport twelve million immigrants at a rate of 500,000 per month.
“It would tear communities apart. (cheering) And It would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is. And even having this conversation sends a powerful signal. They’re doing high fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this. (quiet) That’s the problem with this. We have to win the presidency. And the way you win the presidency is to have practical plans.” He said that we need to provide for a plan to earn legal status: they must pay a fine, work, not commit crimes, learn English and do all of this in an extended period of time. (cheering and applause)
As Baker tried to ask Rubio— Trump: “We have millions of people online, right now, trying to come into this country. Very, very unfair to the people who want to come into our country legally. They’ve gone through the process. They’re online. They’re waiting. Very, very unfair to them. That I can tell you. (scattered cheering)
MACHINE TAKING AWAY PEOPLE’S JOBS
[Baker to Rubio: The transformation of economy creates anxiety. Many fear that innovators and investors will reap most of the rewards. With more machines on the job and more purchasing online, “many traditional jobs are just going away. How do you reassure American workers that their jobs are not being steadily taken by machines?]
Rubio: We’re not experiencing just an economic downturn, “but a massive transformation.” The difference is seen even just over the last five years, not to mention 15-20. “It took the telephone seventy-five years to reach a hundred million users. It took Candy Crush one year to reach 100 million users.6 (laughter) The world is changing faster than ever and it is disruptive.” We are in competition with dozens of developed economies and we’re losing “because we have the highest business tax rate in the industrialized world, because we have regulations that grow by the billions every single week. Because we have a crazy health care law that discourages companies from hiring people, but because we’re not fully using our energy resources, because if we did, it would bring back all kinds of growth, especially in manufacturing. And because we have an outdated higher education system. Our higher education system is completely outdated. (gradual applause from stark silence) It’s too expensive. Too hard to access and it doesn’t teach 21st century skills.”
“If we do what needs to be done: tax reform, regulatory reform, fully utilize our energy resources, repeal and replace Obamacare and modernize higher education, then we can grasp the potential and the promise of this new economy. And we just won’t save the American dream, we will expand it to reach more people and change and change more lives than ever before. And truly, this new century will be a new American century.” (cheering and applause)
ENTITLEMENTS… and IMMIGRATION AGAIN
[Baker to Cruz: He has proposed delaying the retirement age and lowering Social Security benefits. How is this different from the Paul Ryan plan to move to federally funded private plans, and the infamous “pushing Granny over the cliff” commercials of the Left?]
Cruz: “Well, my mom is here, so I don’t think we should be pushing any grannies off cliffs.” His plan has been misstated. For seniors, he proposes no changes now. It’s for the younger workers that he’s proposing a gradual raise in the retirement age and slower increases in benefits and allow them to keep some of their money in a personal retirement account, which can later be given to their children, instead of sending it to the federal government.
Going back to the previous discussion, “the Democrats are laughing. Because if the Republicans join the Democrats as the party of amnesty, we will lose. (applause) And, you know, I understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration, it doesn’t often see it as an economic issue, but I can tell you for millions of Americans at home watching this, it is a very personal economic issue. And I say the politics of it would be very, very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande. Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving sown the wages in the press! (laughter and applause) Then, we would see stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation! And I would say that for those of us who say that people ought to come to this country legally and we should enforce the law, we’re tired of being told that it is anti-immigrant. It’s offensive. I am the son of an immigrant who came legally from Cuba to seek the American dream. And we can embrace legal immigration while believing in the rule of law. And I would note, try going illegally to another country. Try going to China, or Japan. Try going to Mexico. See what they do! Every sovereign nation secures its borders and it’s not compassionate to say we’re not going to enforce the laws and we’re going to drive down the wages for millions of hard-working men and women. That is abandoning the working people.” (applause and cheering)
[Bartiromo: Going to a Facebook question from Dewayne Wesley Cato, “How do we get rid of the regulations that are choking our businesses?” Some companies are more willing to pay the fines than to offer Obamacare, others are lowering working hours to avoid being required to do so. To Fiorina: “What specific ways will you alleviate the pressure on small businesses?”]
Fiorina: Obamacare must be repealed because it’s failing those it was supposed to help and “it’s crony capitalism at its worst.” It was the drug, insurance and pharmaceutical companies which helped to write this bill and they are the ones benefitting from it. Because big government has been growing for the last fifty years, and under the leadership of both parties, companies have to bulk up to deal with this. Only the large companies who have all of the lawyers and accountants can figure out this massive bill. Then the states have o deal with this “high risk pool.”
“Health insurance has always been a cozy little game between regulators and health insurance companies. We need to try the free market. The free market, (applause) where people actually have to compete. And, we ought to have the government insure that you must, and I don’t use that term often ‘the government ought to do something,’ that every health care provider ought to publish its costs, its prices, its outcomes because as patients we don’t know what we’re buying.” Our key to success is our innovation and willingness to be entrepreneurs which is why need to cut down the size of our government. Our strengths are being crushed by a 73,000 page tax code, by a “regulatory thicket,” and by politicians who aren’t accountable for the poor jobs they do. And, “we need to get to a 3-page tax code and, yes, that plan exists.”
[Bartiromo: If Obamacare is repealed, what is the alternative?]
Fiorina: “The alternative is to allow the states to manage the high risk pools for those who really need help. Look, I am a cancer survivor. Okay? I understand that you cannot who’s battled cancer just become known as a pre-existing condition. I understand that you cannot allow families to go bankrupt if they truly need help, but I also understand that Obamacare isn’t helping anyone. We’re throwing more and more people into Medicaid. Fewer doctors are taking those payments. The point is, Obamacare is crushing small businesses. It is not helping the families it was intended to help.” So we need to try something different: the free market.
[Cavuto: Carson is in favor of a system similar to tithing, up to 15% while Trump says wealthier people should pay a higher rate. “So, whose plan would God endorse, doctor?” to Carson]
Carson: His use of tithing refers to proportionality. Regardless of the amount paid everyone still receives the same benefits. However, deductions and loopholes must go, too. He disagrees to those who say not having the deduction for mortgage payments would discourage home ownership. [note: but he likened it to pre-1913 when there was no such deduction— but there was no income tax either!] He did have a point in that pre-1913 people were generous to charitable organizations, and that with more income through lower taxation, they will be more generous. (applause) His plan also has a rebate for people at the poverty level. As his system helps to get the economy moving, “there will be a lot more opportunities for poor people not to be poor people.”
[Cavuto to Paul: Doesn’t his 14.5% flat tax cause a “near term budget crisis?”]
Paul: Money is best spent in the private sector, so he wants to shrink the federal so “that’s it’s so small you can barely see it.” (strong applause) His tax plan is the only one that is part of a balanced budget plan. He has three separate plans, each of whom would reach a balanced budget within five years. The key is cuts – which no one wants to discuss. He would also eliminate the payroll tax. While especially Democrats would complain that it would therefore give wealthier people more back, it is the proportionality concept which Carson has explained. In this way, everyone gets a tax break. The same 14.5% tax for individuals and businesses and the business tax would pay for Social Security. Deductions for home mortgage and charity would remain in place.
[Bartiromo to Cruz: While everyone would like tax cuts, how can he cut them so much without running up the deficit?]
Cruz: For a family of four, no taxes on the first $36,000, including payroll. Above that, a 10% on everyone so that billionaire hedge fund executives would not pay less than their secretaries do. His business tax of 16% for all companies would mean that big corporations would no longer pay little to no tax. His site tedcruz.org gives the details. His plan eliminates the payroll tax, the death tax, the corporate income tax and abolishes the IRS. (applause) “Incredible economic growth” results, impacting all income levels. Exports would not be subject to the tax, but imports would be. It would allow the U.S. to compete on a level playing field.
[Bartiromo: How is this paid for?]
Cruz: According to the Tax Foundation, the static cost of the plan is $3.6 trillion over ten years, but when factoring in the growth, it is around $768 billion, far less than the other proposals. It produces more growth and abolishes the IRS. His $500 billion in cuts include elimination of the IRS, the Dept. of Commerce, the Dept. of Energy and HUD. His web site lists the twenty-five specific programs to be cut.
[Bartiromo to Bush: Tax reform is important to Republican primary voters. Would he guarantee it in the first year of his term?]
Bush: He wants to shift power away from Washington and simplify the tax code to spur economic activity. It must be the highest priority “or we’re stuck with the new normal of 2% growth… which means declining income for the middle class. It means more than six million people are stuck in poverty than the day Barack Obama was inaugurated. It means, it means more demands on government… In this economy, the disposable income of the great middle is down twenty-three hundred bucks… Jobs are being created, but they’re lower income jobs than the ones that were lost.” He recalled some supporters who, if they had that $2,300, would got to South Carolina to start a business.
“Hillary Clinton’s approach to this is more top-down, more regulation, more taxes, more government and it will destroy our economy.”
[Baker to Rubio: His plan has large child tax credits for low income families. A similar plan he proposed in the Senate would have cost $170 billion per year. Doesn’t this add another burden to the federal budget?]… then Paul vs. Rubio
Rubio: The most important job which any of us will ever have is being a parent, not president, because the most important unit in society is the family. “If the family breaks down, society breaks down.. and no one is born with values. They have to be taught to you in strong families.” That’s why a pro-family tax code is so important. “Families that are raising children are raising future tax payers… In thirty-five out of fifty states, child care costs more than college… and if that can’t make that payment (child-care) every month, they can’ work… I am proud that I have a pro-family tax code.”
Paul: “Neil, there’s a point I’d like to make here. Neil, a point that I’d like to make about the tax credits. We have to decide what is conservative and what isn’t conservative. Is it conservative to have a trillion dollar expenditure? We’re not talking about giving people back their tax money. He’s talking about giving people money they didn’t pay. It’s a welfare transfer payment. So, here is what we have: is it conservative to have a trillion dollars in transfer payments, a new welfare program that’s a refundable tax credit. Add that to Marco’s plan for a trillion dollars in new military spending, you get something that looks to me not very conservative.”
Rubio: “No, I get my sixty seconds to respond. He was talking about my tax plan. So, let me begin with this: I actually believe, first of all, this is their money. They do pay it. It is refundable, not just against the taxes they paid to the government, but also on their federal income tax, it’s refundable against the payroll tax. Everyone pays payroll tax. This is their money, it is not our money. And here’s what I don’t understand. If you invest that money in a piece of equipment, if you invest that money in a business, you get to write it off your taxes. But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America, and strengthening your family, we’re not going to recognize that in our tax code. The family is the most important institution in society [talked over by Paul: “It’s important, but nevertheless, it’s not very conservative, Marco, how is it conservative?”] And, yes, I do want to rebuild the military. I know that Rand is a committed isolationist, I’m not. I believe that the world is [as Paul laughs] stringer and a better place when the United States (enthusiastic applause) is the strongest military power in the world.”
Paul: “Marco, Marco, how is it conservative, how is it conservative to add a trillion expenditure for the federal government that you’re not paying for? How is it conservative [Rubio: “Are you talking about the military, Rand?”] to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures. You cannot be a conservative if you’re going to keep promoting programs that you’re not going to pay for.” (applause)
Rubio: “We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe. There are radical jihadists beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon. (growing applause) The Chinese taking over the South China Sea. Yes, I believe the world is a safer – no, no, I don’t believe, I know that the world is a safer and better place when America is the strongest military power on the– in the world! (near standing ovation)
Paul: “No, I don’t think we’re any safer. I do not think we are any safer from bankruptcy court. As we go further and further into debt, we become less and less safe. This is the most important thing we’re going to talk about tonight. Can you be a conservative and a liberal about military spending? Can you be for unlimited military spending and say, ‘Oh, I’m going to make the country safe/’ No, we need a safe country. But, you know we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined? I want a strong national defense, but I don’t want us to be bankrupt.”
(Fiorina and Cruz attempted to speak next, Cruz prevails)
Cruz: “This is the middle ground that brings both of these together. (both talking) This exactly right. We have to defend this nation. You think defending this nation is expensive, try not defending it. (applause) That’s a lot more expensive, BUT you can do that and pay for it. You can do that and also be fiscally responsible. You know I mentioned the twenty-five programs I put out today that I would eliminate them. Among them are corporate welfare like sugar subsidies, let’s take that as an example. Sugar subsidies. Sugar farmers farm on roughly 0.2% of the farmland in America. And yet, they give 40% of the lobbying money. That sort of corporate welfare is why we’re bankrupting our kids and grandkids. I would end those subsidies to pay for defending this nation.”
Fiorina: “Gentlemen, this why, this is why we must combine, actually, zero-based budgeting with tax reform. Because unless we can examine and cut and move every single dollar of discretionary spending in the federal government, we cannot reform taxes and reduce spending at the same time. Ask yourself this question: How is it possible that the federal government gets more money each and every year which the federal government has been doing, receiving more money every year for fifty years under Republicans and Democrats alike and yet, never has enough money to do the important things? The answer: all the money is always spoken for, all the money is spoken for. So we have to go to zero-based budgeting which is a simple idea. By the way, there’s been a bill for zer0-based budgeting. It exists. It can be voted on. Every dollar must be examined. Any dollar can be cut. Any dollar can be moved. We have to go to a three-page tax code. You lower every rate, you close every loophole. Why? Because the government uses the tax code to decide winners and losers. You have to strip the corruption out of the tax code t pay for it. You have to know where every single dollar is being spent. You can cut where you need to. You can invest where you need to. The two go hand-in-hand.” (applause)
Before Baker could ask Trump—Trump: “We have to make our military bigger, better, stronger than ever before so that nobody messes with us. And in the long run, it’s going to save us. I agree with Marco, I agree with Ted, we have no choice. And I can tell you this, with certainty, we all have a different tax plan, some I don’t totally agree with. But one thing we understand, each one of those tax plans is better than the mess that we have right now.” (applause)
[Baker to Trump, then Kasich broke in]
Kasich: “…I think you were coming to me. I hate to crash the party, Mr. Baker, but you know it’s fair.” (but to no avail)
THE TPP TRADE DEAL7
[Baker to Trump: You have said that you would rather have no deal than the one just signed involving eleven countries. Economists says that trade brings growth and several presidents, including the last three Republican presidents have been for international trade. Why are you against this?]
Trump: The recent decent is one “that is going to lead to nothing but trouble.” It gives China a terrific advantage. It’s so complicated, “5,600 pages long,” that nobody has read it much like Obamacare. This trade deal is such a bad deal as it gives all these other countries a huge edge. He prefers individual deals with each separate country because we lose so much on international trade. He mentioned the great trade imbalances we have with China, Japan and Mexico. “I’m a free-trader 100%, but we need smart people making the deals and we don’t have smart people making the deals.”
[Baker: Tariffs only cover 20% of our trade. Which parts would he change?]
Trump: Currency manipulation is the most popular means by which India, and especially China, take advantage of the U.S., yet it was not even mentioned in the trade agreement. “So I say it’s a very bad deal, should not be approved. If it is approved, it’ll just be more bad trade deals, more loss of jobs for our country. We are losing jobs like nobody has ever lost jobs before. I want to bring jobs back into this country.”
Paul: “Hey, Gerard, we might want to point out China is not part of this deal.” (laughter)
[Baker: The point is that if this deal is not approved, it would give China another opportunity to grow its trade leadership by replacing the U.S.]
Paul: True, China doesn’t like the deal since it involves its competitors. But the point, and he agrees with Trump, “we should negotiate from a position of strength, and we should also negotiate using the full force and the constitutional power that was given to us. I think it’s a mistake that we give up power to the presidency on these trade deals. We give up the power to filibuster, and I’m kind of fond of that power, (laughter) we give up the power to amend. And I think one of the big problems we have in our country over the last century really, so much power has gravitated to the executive branch. Really Congress is sort of a bystander. We don’t write the rules, we don’t make the laws. The executive branch does. So, even in trade, and I am for trade, I think we should be careful about giving so much power to the presidency.” (applause)
WAR ON TERRORISM
[Bartiromo: Last year, terrorist attacks rose 61% according to the Institute for Economics and Peace. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria had the majority of the deaths. To Carson: You were against having troops in Iraq and a large presence in Afghanistan, “do you support the President’s decision to now put fifty special ops forces in Syria and leave 10,000 troops in Afghanistan?]
Carson: Having the special ops there is better than nothing. This Putin’s base for spreading his influence and e must oppose him. It’s a complex situation, even China is there. We have been ineffectual, but cannot “give up ground there.” We need a global perspective. Jihadists want to destroy our way of life. We have to make them look like losers because their perceived success is helping their recruiting. We must destroy their caliphate. Iraq’s oil fields would be a good place to start. However, containing them won’t be enough. “Our goal is not to contain them, but to destroy them before they destroy us.”
HOMELAND SECURITY (and a little Trump vs. Bush and Fiorina)
[Bartiromo to Bush: Homeland security is the biggest area of concern on Facebook during this debate. “What is the biggest threat facing America today?]
Bush: Islamic terrorism. We have also found that when we pull back from an area, something bad fills the void. Because Obama doesn’t believe in American leadership, we have a caliphate the size of Indiana in the Middle East. In addition, they are recruiting here in America. “We should have a no-fly zone in Syria” and create safe zones there for the four million Syrians fleeing instead of having them go to Europe. Lack of American leadership has resulted in Iraq speaking to Russia where, not long ago, Russia had no influence. Obama and Hillary Clinton do not believe we have a role to play over there and, in addition to the physical threats, it will negatively impact our economy.
[Bartiromo to Trump: In a 2012 debate, Obama called Mitt Romney a “Cold War dinosaur” for saying that Russia is our biggest threat. Events since then show that Romney had a valid point. Trump has said he would have a good relationship with Putin to fix things. “So what does President Trump do I response to Russia’s aggression?]
Trump: The problem is not only Russia. North Korea already has nuclear weapons. We are also having to face the Iran deal, one of the worst deals of any type anywhere, “and it’s a disgrace.” China is also a major problem which doesn’t get the attention it deserves. He knows Putin from their time together on an episode of “60 Minutes.” “But, if Putin wants to go in and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, 100%. And I can’t understand how anybody would be against it. (Bush said, “They’re not doing it.”) Hold it! They blew up – wait a minute, he blew up a Russian airplane. He cannot be in love with these people. He’s going in and we can go in (as Bush shakes his head on the split screen) and everybody should go in. And as far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people and a group of countries, including Germany- tremendous economic behemoth. Why are we always doing all the work? We are – I’m all for protecting Ukraine and working, but we have countries that are surrounding the Ukraine that aren’t doing anything. They say ‘keep going, keep going you dummies, keep going protecting us.’ And we have to get smart, we can’t continue to be the policeman of the world. We owe 19 trillion dollars. We have a country that’s going to hell. We have an infrastructure that’s falling apart, our roads, our bridges, our schools, our airports. And we have to start investing money in our country.” (some applause)
Bush: “Donald, Donald is wrong on this. He’s absolutely wrong on this. We’re not going to be the world’s policeman, but we should sure as heck better be the world’s leader. That’s, there’s a huge difference. Without us leading (rising applause), voids are filled. And the idea, that it’s a good idea for Putin to be in Syria, let ISIS take out Assad and then Putin will take out ISIS. And that’s a board game. That’s like playing Monopoly or something. That’s not how the real world works. We have to lead. We have to be involved. We should have a no-fly zone in Syria. They are barrel bombing the innocents in that country. If you’re a Christian increasingly in Lebanon or Iraq or Syria, you’re going to be beheaded. And if you’re a moderate Islamic, you’re not going to be able to survive either. We have to play a role in this to be able to bring the rest of the world to this, to this issue before it’s too late.
Trump: “Assad is a bad guy. But we have no idea who the so-called rebels, I read about the rebels, nobody even knows who they are. I spoke to a general two weeks ago, he said, he was very up on exactly what we’re talking about. He said, ‘You know, Mr. Trump, we’re giving hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment to these people. We have no idea who they are.’ So, I don’t like Assad. Who’s going to like Assad? But we have no idea who these people and what they’re going to be and what they’re going to represent. They may be far worse than Assad. Look at Libya! Look at Iraq! Look at the mess we have after spending two trillion dollars, thousands of lives, wounded warriors all over the place who I love. Okay? All over. We have nothing! And I said keep the oil. And we should have kept the oil, believe me. We should have kept the oil. And you know what?! We should have given the oil, we should have given big chunks to the people that lost their arms, their legs and their families, their sons and daughters, because right now, do you know who has a lot of that oil? Iran and ISIS!
Fiorina: “You know, Mr. Trump fancies himself a very good negotiator. And I accept that he’s done a lot of good deals. So, Mr. Trump ought to know we should not speak to people from a position of weakness. Senator Paul should know that as well. One of the reasons that I’ve said that I would not be talking to Vladimir Putin right now, although I have met him as well, not in a green room for a show, but in a private meeting. (scattered laughter then cheering) One of the reasons I’ve said I wouldn’t be talking to Vladimir Putin right now is because we are speaking to him from a position of weakness, brought on by this Administration. So I wouldn’t talk to him for a while, but I would do this: I would start rebuilding the sixth fleet right under his nose, rebuilding the military, ah, missile defense program in Poland – right under his nose. I would conduct very aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states so that he understood we would protect our NATO allies and (unintelligible—time bell) allies. And I might also put in a few thousand troops into Germany, not to start a war, but to make sure Putin understands that the United States of America will stand our allies.”
“That is why Governor Bush is correct. We must have a no-fly zone in Syria, because Russia cannot tell the United States of America where and when to fly our planes. (as Bush smiles and nods on the split screen) We also have a set of allies (amidst rousing cheers) we have a set of allies in the Arab Middle East who know that ISIS is their fight. They have asked us specifically over and over again to support them. King Abdullah of Jordan, a man whom I’ve known for a very long time, has asked us for bombs and materiel and we have not provided it. The Egyptians are asking us to share intelligence, we are not, I will. The Kurds have asked us to arm them for three years, we are not, I would. The Egyptians, the Saudis, the Bahrainis, the Kuwaitis, the Emiratis, the Kurds, all of these, people I know by the way, understand ISIS is their fight, but they must see leadership, support and resolve from the United States of America. And we must have the strongest military on the face of the planet and everyone has to know it.” (rising cheers)
MORE MIDDLE EAST
[Cavuto to Paul (as the audience continued to cheer for Fiorina): You have said that it would be a mistake to exclude Putin from discussions. Do you believe that the Iranians should be included in any talks about Syria?]
Paul: It would be “naïve and foolish” not to talk to Russia. Hillary Clinton as well as some Republican candidates support a no-fly zone over Syria, “where Russia already flies.” They are there at the invitation of Iraq. While he doesn’t suggest that this is a good thing, “you need to know what you’re getting into.” A no-fly zone means that “you are going to shoot down Russian planes. If you are ready for that, be ready to send your sons and daughters to another war in Iraq. I don’t want to see that happen… You can be strong without being involved in every civil war around the world.” As he brought up that Ronald Reagan was strong but (Fiorina interrupted with “Ronald Reagan walked away from Reykjavik” Paul: “Could I finish with my time?” and Trump chided her for doing so “Why does she keep interrupting everybody, terrible.”) “I’d like to finish, I’d like to finish my response basically—“ (Rubio: “If I may respond.”) This is an incredibly important question and the question goes to be: Who do we want to be our Commander-in-Chief? Do we want a Commander-in-Chief who says something we never did throughout our entire Cold War? To discontinue having conversations with the Russians. I’m not happy about them flying over there. But I’m not naive enough to say ‘Well, Iraq has them flying over their air space,’ we’re just going to announce that we’re shooting them down. That is naïve to the point that it’s something you might hear in junior high.”
[Cavuto to Paul: Without a no-fly zone, what would his strategy be?]
Paul: He would not arm our enemies or ISIS (some cheering). Many who want the no-fly zone were also in favor of arming Al-Qaeda which became ISIS. “… the dumbest and most foolhardy notion. Most of the people up here supported it… some of them still do. That’s how ISIS grew. We pushed back Assad and ISIS was allowed to grow in the vacuum. So the first thing to do is don’t arm your enemies.”
Rubio: “I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he’s a gangster.” Despite his $3 trillion economy is a disaster, he’s building up his military “in a rapid way.” He understands strength. Everywhere he has attacked, it’s because he’s testing a weakness. He sees that Obama has no strategy and our allies don’t trust us. There is just one country in the Middle East which is pro-American free enterprise democracy – Israel. “And we have a President that treats the prime minister of Israel with less respect than what he gives the ayatollah in Iran. And so our allies in the region don’t trust us.” (cheering) Putin is edging us out of our influence there and we do have a vested interest in the Middle East. ISIS is everywhere in that region. They are recruiting our own people. “And they don’t hate us simply because we support Israel, they hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They win or we win. We had better take this seriously. It’s not going away on its own.” (applause and cheering)
[Baker to Kasich: Hundreds of U.S. companies have been cyber-attacked by the Chinese military while Chinese investments grow here. The WSJ reports that China is planning to take over a major hotel chain in the U.S. Would you stop them?]
Kasich: We have the ability to destroy the mechanisms of these foreign cyber-attacks. We should arm the Ukrainians. Ensure that Eastern Europe and the Baltics know that “if the Russians move, we move.” There should no-fly zones in both the northern and southern Syrian borders. A first fly-in might be allowed, but not a second time. “Saudi Arabia, cut off the funding for the radical clerics, the ones that preach against us. But they’re fundamentally our friends. Jordan, we want the king to reign for a thousand years. Egypt, they’ve been our ally and a moderating force in the Middle East throughout their history.” The Cleveland Clinic is opening an operation in the Gulf states, indicating a peaceful relationship. Regarding Israel, “we have no better ally in the world.” We should not criticize them in public. Kasich gave the President credit for moving a naval force into the South China Sea to remind them that they don’t own it. He supports the TPP7 because it not only represents economic ties which help many of our citizens, but opens the possibility for strategic alliances against the Chinese. “They’re not our enemy. But they’re certainly not our friend.” To beat Hillary Clinton, we need to be sure that our economic and military programs are solid. He has the governmental CEO abilities, proven in D.C. and in Ohio, to ensure that our “number add up” and the proposals we make to voters are solid.
[Baker to Bush: Hillary Clinton said she would not bail out the banks if we had another financial crisis like the one in 2008. Would you?]
Bush: We shouldn’t have a repeat if we would raise the capital requirements for the banks, and it would also lessen the load on community banks. The result of Dodd-Frank8 is that banks have a higher concentration of risk. The problem with this Act is exemplified in an Iowa bank. It has four branches and $125 million in assets. Its compliance costs went from $100,000 to $600,000 in a two-year period even though it did not have one loan go bad during that crisis. The real economy has been hurt by the vast overreach of the Obama Administration. Hillary Clinton is opposed “to all of the things that would sustain economic growth” because she is captive to the Left as evidenced by her change from approval to disapproval of the TPP and the Keystone Pipeline.
[Baker to Bush: You can’t seriously guarantee that there won’t be another financial crisis, can you?]
Bush: No, he can’t, but it could be prevented. The large banks have even more control of assets now “and that is the wrong approach to take.”
[Baker to Carson: Despite the efforts of legislators, the big banks are bigger than ever. J.P.Morgan Chase has had its assets increase by 40% to $2,3 trillion. Should banks like Chase be broken up?]
Carson: We need policies which don’t make it easier for the big banks to become bigger. Overall, big corporations gain advantage with current laws and policies such as low interest rates which promote stock buy-backs, thus increasing stock prices artificially. Our regulatory situation creates these issues of concern.
It took less than one hundred years for our new nation to become the number one economic power in the world. We did that because of an atmosphere which encouraged entrepreneurs and investment. Our “creep of regulations has turned into a stampede which is involved in every aspect of our lives… and it hurts the poor and middle class much more than it does the rich… Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton won’t tell you that that’s the thing that’s really hurting the middle class and the poor. They’ll say it’s the rich. Take their money, but that won’t help. You can take all of the rich’s money and it won’t make a dent in the problem that we’re having. We have to return to the principles that made America great. ” (applause)
[Baker to Carson: “Just to be clear, just to be clear, you wouldn’t, you wouldn’t favor breaking up the big banks. Do you think they’re big enough, they’re OK as they are?”]
Carson: He doesn’t want to tear any companies down, but we need to fix the real problems and “not tinker around the edges.”
Rubio: “He’s right on point there. Do you know why these banks are so big? The government made them big. The government made them big by adding thousands and thousands of pages of regulations. So, the big banks, they have an army of lawyers, an army of compliance officers. They can deal with all of these things.” The small banks, however, can’t hire the staff necessary to handle these requirements. Thus, the big banks get bigger and the small banks struggle and sometimes don’t survive. Dodd-Frank has actually codified the “too big to fail” institutions, what it was supposed to prevent. And the big banks seem to know that they are indispensible. “This is an outrage. We need to repeal Dodd-Frank as soon as possible.”
Kasich: He said that Bush was trying to say that it should be that he people invested in the banks are at risk, not the taxpayers. Regarding Wall Street, greed is the problem. While the free enterprise system has produced the greatest wealth for the world, its good points are shot down when good, solids values are absent. Wall Street needs a good lesson in ethics.
[after a little confusion, Cavuto to Cruz: Facebook indicates that almost one million people had listed Wall Street as their concern and that not enough people have been punished. “Would you go after the crooks that Bernie Sanders said have gotten away with a financial murder?]
Cruz: Absolutely. And with regard to the question which the others avoided, he would “absolutely not” bail out the banks if the same crisis hit again. (applause) “The biggest lie in all of Washington and in all of politics is that the Republican Party is the party of the rich. The truth is the rich do great with big government.” The net result of the big banks getting bigger is that small businesses can’t get loans. Six of the ten wealthiest counties in the U.S. surround Washington D.C. That says a lot about who benefits from big government.
A recent case showed the unfairness of regulations when a Chicago woman, Sabina Loving, testified before a Senate hearing that Cruz held. She started a small tax preparing firm in the South Side. The IRS used an old statute known as “The Dead Horse Act” to promulgate new rules for tax preparers. The regulations exempted those with fantastic means, but she, as a small business, would have had to pay $1000 per employee – and go out of business. She sued the IRS and won. The IRS which was “picking the big guys over the little guys” lost in this case, but not all can win justice in these matters.
[Cavuto to Cruz: So, are you saying you would let a big bank fail?] and Kasich vs. Cruz
Cruz: Yes, he would, but the Federal Reserve has a role to play, too. Those in charge seem to be guessing which way the economy is going. Loose money led to a great rise in real estate and commodity prices. “In the third quarter of 2008, the Fed tightened the money and crashed those asset prices which caused a cascading collapse. That’s why I am supporting getting back to rules-based monetary system, not with a bunch of philosophers kings deciding but tied ideally –” (Cavuto: For whatever reason, you would let a Bank of America fail.”) He would not bail them out. The Fed should tie our currency to a stable level of gold and be the lender of last resort. “It’s not a bail-out, but a loan at higher interest rates, that’s how central banks have worked.” We had a gold system and a good system for 170 years. “We need to get back to sound money which helps in particular, working men and women.” Those with power and influence are the winners in this government.
Kasich: “When a bank is ready to go under and depositors are getting ready to lose their life’s savings, you say we believe in philosophical concerns. You know what an executive has to decide… when there’s a financial crisis or a crisis with Ebola, go there and try to fix it. Philosophy doesn’t work when you run something.” On-the-job training for the presidency doesn’t work. The last eight years prove that. He may not be pleased with what the Fed is doing, but turning it over to the Congress “so they can print the money. That would be a very bad approach.”
Cruz: “Why would you then bail out rich Wall Street banks (Kasich: “I wouldn’t.”), but not mom-and-pop, not Sabina Loving (Kasich: “No, I didn’t say that.”) Well you just said an executive knows when to step in and bail out a bank.”
Kasich: “They were talking about what you would do with depositors, would you let these banks shut down. My argument is going forward, the banks have to reserve the capital so that the capital, the people who own the capital start pressuring the banks to not take these risky approaches, Ted. But at the end of the day – (Cruz: “So you said you’d abandon the philosophy, abandon the principle, but what would you do if the bank was failing?) If during, if during (as Cruz talked over) Because if during, I’ll tell you what, I would not let the people who put their money in there all go down. (Cruz: “So you would bail them out.”) As an executive I would figure out how to separate those people who can afford it versus those people, the hard-working folks, who put their money in those institutions (some boos). No, no, let me say another thing. Here’s what I mean by that. Here’s what I mean by hat. When you are faced, when you are faced in the last financial crisis with banks going under, with banks going under and people, people who put their life’s savings in there, you gotta deal with it. You can’t turn a blinds [sic] eye to it. Now going forward, that’s one thing. If you had another financial crisis perhaps there would be (talked over).”
Fiorina: “Could I just say as a chief executive who’s had to make tough calls to save jobs and to grow jobs. I think what’s interesting about Dodd-Frank, is that it’s a great example of how socialism starts. Socialism starts when government creates a problem and then government steps in to solve the problem. Government created the problem. (applause) Government created the problem of a real estate boom. How did we create it? Republicans and Democrats alike, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, everybody gathered together. Republicans and Democrats said home ownership is part of the American dream. Let’s create a bubble, then government stepped in, by the way under President George W. Bush, banks were told, encouraged, told really to buy other banks, to take money. And now what do we have with Dodd-Frank: the classic of crony capitalism. The bigger have gotten bigger. Fifteen hundred and ninety community banks have gone out of business. And on top of all that, we’ve created something called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a vast bureaucracy with no Congressional oversight that’s digging through hundreds of millions of your credit records to “detect” fraud. This is how socialism starts, ladies and gentlemen. We must take our government back.” (applause and cheering)
[Bartiromo to Rubio: If Hillary Clinton does become the Democratic candidate, you will be facing someone with an impressive resume. (laughter) Why should people vote for you instead of someone “who has been much closer to the office?”]
Rubio: (stifling his laugh and amidst the laughter of the crowd) “This election is about the future, about what kind of country this nation is going to be in the 21st century. This election is actually a generational choice… For over 2-1/2 centuries, America has been a special country. The one place on earth where anyone from anywhere can achieve anything. A nation that’s been a force for good on this planet. But now, a growing number of Americans feel out of place in their own country. We have a society that stigmatizes those who hold cultural values that are traditional. We have a society where people, millions of people, are living paycheck to paycheck… because the economy has changed underneath their feet. We have young Americans who owe thousands of dollars of student loans for a degree that doesn’t lead to a job. For the first time in thirty-five years, we have more businesses dying than starting. And around the world, every day brings a new humiliation for America. Many, the direct consequence of decisions made when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of the United– State.” [note: I get choked up, too, when I think about what she and the President have done to our country and the world.]
“This election is about the future and the Democratic Party and the political Left have no ideas about the future. All of their ideas are about the same, tired ideas of the past: more government, more spending for every issue before America their answer is a new tax on someone and a new government program. This nation is going to turn the page and that’s what this election should be about. And as I said on the first debate, if I am our nominee, they will be the party of the past. We will be the party of the 21st century.” (cheering applause)
Cruz: “And, Maria, I will note, she’s got a lot of experience, but her policies have proven disastrous. If you look at foreign policy, every region on the world has gotten worse. Under her leadership, we abandoned the nation of Israel. Under her leadership, radical Islamic terrorism has been on the rise. Under her leadership and Obama’s leadership, Iran is getting $100 billion and on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon… Hillary Clinton embodies the cronyism of Washington.” (cheering applause) If elected, he’ll veto any law which exempts Congress. “The law should apply evenly to every American.” (applause)
[Cavuto to Trump: As one of the most successful capitalists, he has disapproved of some who have given it a bad name by sending money overseas to avoid taxes. His plan gives what might amount to a one-time bounty to bring some of that money back, “so they still keep the loot and only pay a small price to bring it back.”]
Trump: Except for Carly Fiorina, no one on the stage talks about a “corporate inversion.” Companies instead of moving to other states are moving to other countries. Getting that money back into the U.S. is about the only thing Republicans and Democrats agree on. After 3-1/2 years, nothing has been accomplished. It’s probably about $2.5 trillion, but he believes it’s much more than that. That money could be used to rebuild and invest in our nation. His plan of a 10% tax rate would accomplished this and a lot of people think it’s a great idea. He would get rid of some “bureaucratic problems and roadblocks.” It would rebuild the country and jobs. (some cheers)
[Bartiromo to Paul: He was one of fifteen Republicans to vote for an amendment that “human activity contributed to climate change.” The President has announced aggressive plans to cut carbon emissions. Is it possible to continue our path toward energy self-sufficiency and still pursue “a meaningful climate change program?”]
Paul: He would first repeal the Obama regulations on our energy. (cheering) “including the Clean Power Act” Man has a role in the climate, but so does Nature. “The planet s 4-1/2 billion years old.” The various geologic ages have produced hotter and colder times than we have now. There have been higher levels of carbon in the air than we have today. “We need to look before we leap. The President’s often fond of saying he wants a balanced solution.” We have to balance cleaner air with the economy. “He’s devastated my state. I say the President’s not only destroying Kentucky, he’s destroying the Democrat party down there because nobody wants to associate with him.” We need all forms of energy: solar, wind, hydro, but will still have coal and natural gas. Shutting down all of the coal plants will either make some of our cities very cold or very hot. We need an “all of the above” policy.
Bush: Our nation’s reduction of carbon emissions is not because of Solyndra.9, 10 It’s not because of the Washington bureaucrats, but because two existing technologies coupled with innovation has made natural gas an American success story as well as an environmental one. Fifty per cent of the economic activity during the Obama years has been because of the energy sector and Hilary Clinton wants to suppress it. In Florida, they were to make land purchases and clean-ups because they had a growing economy, 4.4%.
CLOSING STATEMENTS (applause and cheering assumed)
Paul: “We’re the richest, freest, most humanitarian nation in the history of mankind. But we also borrow a million dollars a minute. And the question I have for all Americans is: think about it. Can you be a fiscal conservative if you don’t conserve all of the money? If you’re a profligate spender, you spend money in an unlimited fashion for the military, is that a conservative notion? We have to be conservative with all spending, domestic spending and welfare spending. I’m the only fiscal conservative on the stage.
Kasich: “Well, ladies and gentlemen, if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders were to win this election my 16-year old, I, I worry about what their life is going to be like. You know the conservative movement is all about opportunity. It is about lower taxes. It’s about balanced budgets. It’s about less regulation. And it’s about sending power, money and influence back to where we live, so we can run America from the bottom up. In addition to that, once we have the power, the money and the influence with programs we shift out, each of us have a responsibility to reach out and rebuild our families, to make them stronger and connect our neighborhoods. All of that together: wealth, connection, family, America’s greatest days are ahead. We must win this election.
Fiorina: “Imagine a Clinton presidency. Our military will continue to deteriorate, our veterans will not be cared for, and no, Mrs. Clinton, that situation is not exaggerated. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer. The middle class will continue to get crushed. As bad as that picture is, what’s even worse is that a Clinton presidency will corrode the character of this nation. Why? Because of the Clinton Way: say whatever you have to, lie as long as you can get away with it. We must beat Hillary Clinton. Carly Fiorina can beat Hillary Clinton. I will beat Hillary Clinton and under a President Fiorina, we will restore the character of this nation, the security of this nation, the prosperity of this nation, because as citizens we will take our government back.”
Bush: “Jane Horton is sitting with my wife today. Her husband, Chris, was killed in action in Afghanistan. And Jane spends her time defending and fighting for military families. They’re both heroes. I don’t think we need an agitator-in-chief or a divider-in-chief. We need a commander-in-chief who will rebuild our military and restore respect to our veterans by revamping and fixing a broken Veterans Administration. That’s my pledge to you. I ask for your support. Thank you.
Cruz: “Fifty-eight years ago, my father fled Cuba. As he stood on the deck of the ferry boat with the wind and salt air blowing, he looked back at the oppression and torture he was escaping. And yet, he looked forward to the promise of America. His story is our story. What ties Americans together is we are all the children who risked everything for freedom. America is in crisis now. I believe in America and if we get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberties that built this country, we can turn this country around. I believe that 2016 will be an election like 1980, that we will win by following Reagan’s admonition to paint in bold colors, not pale pastels. We’re building a grass-roots army. I ask you to join us at tedcruz.org and we the people can turn this nation around.”
Rubio: “Ours is, the story of America is an extraordinary story. It is the story of a nation that for over two centuries each generation has left the next generation better off than themselves. But now, because Washington is out of touch, through the fault of both political parties, for the first time in our history, that is in doubt. And that is what this election must be about, because if the next four years are anything like the last eight years, our children will be the first Americans ever left worse off by their parents. This election is about making a different choice: about applying our principles of limited government and free enterprise to the unique issues of our time. And if we do, will not just save the American dream, we will expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before. And the 21st century can be a new American century. So tonight, I ask you for your vote. And I ask you to join us at my web site, marcorubio.com.”
Carson: “In the two hours of this debate, five people have died from drug related deaths. A hundred million dollars has been added to our national debt. Two hundred babies have been killed by abortionists. And two veterans have taken their lives out of despair. This is a narrative that we can change, not we the Democrats, not we the Republicans, but we the people of America because there is something special about this nation. And we must embrace it and be proud of it and never give it away for the sake of political correctness.”
Trump: “Thank you. Over the years, I’ve created tens of thousands of jobs and a great company. It’s a company I’m very proud of, some of the mist iconic assets anywhere in the world. And I will tell you and I don’t have to give you a web site because I’m self-funding my campaign. I’m putting up my own money. I want to do something really special. I want to make our country greater than it’s ever been. I think we have that potential. We cannot lose this election. We can-not let Hillary Clinton, who is the worst Secretary of State in the history of our country, win this election. We will fight. We will win. And we truly will make this even more special. We have to make it better than ever before and, I will tell you, the United States can actually be better than ever before. Thank you.”
All of us interested in this election process have our favorites. Even though no candidate is perfect, it is reassuring to know that every Republican candidate is superior to whatever the other side will offer next year. What needs to be done is to choose the most electable candidate.
If it were merely about issues and integrity, a Republican win would be a certainty. Unfortunately, we live in a world where many on the Left feel compelled to vote for someone simply because that candidate has two “X” chromosomes – even when that individual is not viewed as trustworthy! The Republicans have a woman candidate of their own; unlike Secretary Clinton, she does not lack competency, honesty, and integrity. Carly Fiorina has travelled just as extensively as Hillary Clinton. Unlike the former Secretary of State, Fiorina has working relationships with key foreign leaders and has a track record of accomplishments. Also, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, “She can say things about Hillary Clinton that no man can. And she knows it.”11
Speaking about those who can go toe-to-toe with Mrs. Clinton in a debate, Chris Christie (who was just announced as a member of the Dec. 15 “main event”) has the street smarts. While he is a little too much to the middle or even a shade to the left of center for some Republicans, there is no doubt he could deal with the innuendos and downright false attacks which the Democrats served up to Mitt Romney and will likely volley again. (see footnote #12 on Harry Reid)
Dr. Ben Carson’s presence on the ticket would bring the Left’s veiled racist attacks to full bloom. Already, we’re seeing frivolous questions concerning the accuracy of his statements about his youth. His integrity is impeccable, so the Democrats need to do something/ anything to take the heat off lengthy list of Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds both on her own in the federal government as well as when she was pulling strings during Bill Clinton’s administration.
Dr. Carson is also attractive for being an “outsider” who does not allow politically correctness to cloud his decision-making process. He is not an expert in all areas facing a President—no one has or will ever be. He will bring a surgeon’s leadership to the White House, one that can make decisions without micromanaging or having to carry out every part of the procedure by himself. He also should win the confidence of those voters who are looking for someone they can trust to handle those myriads of issues that spring up post-inauguration for which no one could have predicted during the campaign.
Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz neutralize the Democrats’ attempt to own the minority card as each are first generation sons of immigrants. They prove that rising from humble non-American beginnings is not an exclusively Democratic trait. It is very annoying to the Clinton Party that these two Hispanics along with a woman and an African American are running for the Republic nomination. Rubio and Cruz have the intelligence and compassion to be virtuous leaders.
Rubio also specializes in pro-family issues which are essential if we are to rebuild the society the United States used to represent. Cruz is strong on the Constitution. We would never see Obama-like executive orders in his presidency. For many aging generations, the Democratic Party has billed itself as the party of youth. Those days are over and these two gentlemen are poised to grab the baton from them.
John Kasich has accomplished more in state and federal government than Hillary Clinton could in three lifetimes. Kasich’s electability problem stems as much from his lecturing and “self-righteous”11 style as it from his occasional tendency to answer the question he wants to and avoid the issue presented to him. Just like all of the other Republicans in the hunt, he would do a better job than H.Clinton/Sanders, but would not likely catch the fancy of those voters who go for style and pizzazz over what is truly necessary: substance.
Jeb Bush has a similar predicament as Kasich does, and it’s aggravated by the fact that his father and father and brother have already lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. While he has far more accomplishments than Mrs. Clinton, some fear a “Bush dynasty” more than a “Clinton dynasty.” Besides, since the election of Obama checked off the need for a minority as Commander-in-Chief, the next box to fill is that of a woman in the White house, so this Bush is running at the wrong time. (Remember, Carly Fiorina is disqualified because a “real” woman would not align with the Republican Party.)
Rand Paul passionately wants to defend the Constitution as President. His willingness to fight the good fight despite the odds is both rare and admirable. Unfortunately, he believes that being a “true” conservative is the ultimate goal. He is correct in that recent Republicans have squandered the opportunity to fix some major problems by caving in instead of pushing their weight around a little. His fellow Kentucky senator, Mitch McConnell has saddled himself with that label. But stubbornness can be a vice, too. Paul’s hero, President Reagan, proved progress can be made even in the most contentious of situations if you “take what the defense will give you” as they say in football. His desire for a balanced budget amendment exemplifies his inability to discern between outcomes desired most of the time and those that are truly non-negotiable, such as inalienable rights.
Then we have Donald Trump. His success in business has few equals in our history – imagine what he could have accomplished in the less-restrictive era of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, etc. He promotes himself well and is asking us to believe that he would do the same for the United States. Perhaps, yes, or perhaps so long as he gains much, too.
Part of his following is due to his willingness to say what bothers him and it resonates with many who are fed up with Washington nonsense. Often, however, he also says things that encourage women and minorities to look for someone else. In some ways, he appears to be the Republican version of what the Democrats have been throwing at an unsuspecting public and getting away with: speak loud and don’t worry if what you are saying has any merit or is even accurate.
Couple these traits with his friendship with the Clintons and others on the Left and he could just be a plant by the Democrats to derail the Republicans. It would be the perfect storm. While Democratic supporters often fall for that stuff, the Left knows that enough voters on the other side would see through it, not pick Trump, tempting him to break as a third party, thus assuring the presidency doesn’t change hands.
The Republican Party has way too much talent this time. It would be a shame if its message is not conveyed sufficiently bring us back to an Age of Faith, or at least Reason, instead of our accelerating Age of Feeling.13
Oscar A. (Tony) Rubio is a writer who merges the lessons of history with current events to suggest a better path. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and believes that our national mood would be improved if we listened to more Big Band and Jazz as we look forward to the White House changing occupants on January 20, 2017. Tony blogs at www.cartaremi.wordpress.com and www.sportuoso.wordpress.com.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
1 – “The IMF, also known as the Fund, was conceived at a UN conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, United States, in July 1944. The 44 countries at that conference sought to build a framework for economic cooperation to avoid a repetition of the competitive devaluations that had contributed to the Great Depression of the 1930s.”
“The IMF’s responsibilities: The IMF’s primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund’s mandate was updated in 2012 to include all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.” https://www.imf.org/external/about.htm
2 – “The IMF advises its 188 member countries, encouraging policies that foster economic stability, reduce vulnerability to economic and financial crises, and raise living standards. It provides regular assessment of global prospects in its World Economic Outlook, of financial markets in its Global Financial Stability Report, and of public finance developments in its Fiscal Monitor, and publishes a series of regional economic outlooks.” https://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/glance.htm
3 – “ The country’s labor force participation rate – which measures the share of Americans at least 16 years old who are either employed or actively looking for work – dipped last month to a 38-year low, clocking in at an underwhelming 62.6 percent.” http://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2015/07/16/unemployment-is-low-but-more-workers-are-leaving-the-workforce
4 – “A method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base” and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one.”
“ZBB allows top-level strategic goals to be implemented into the budgeting process by tying them to specific functional areas of the organization, where costs can be first grouped, then measured against previous results and current expectations.” from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zbb.asp.
5 – “Last Tuesday, by a vote of 243 to 165, the House passed H.R. 427, the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, known as the REINS Act. Introduced in the House by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the bill “would require any executive branch rule or regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more — designated by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a ‘major rule’ — to come before Congress for an up-or-down vote before being enacted.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced the companion legislation, S. 226, in the Senate.”
“The Judiciary Committee’s report on the bill explains that back in 1996, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) was implemented as an attempt to get control over the large number of regulations coming from the federal government. But only one regulation has been undone using CRA, while 60,000 regulations have come into being.” From “The REINS Act will keep regulations and their costs in check,” by Neil Siefring, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/250178-the-reins-act-will-keep-regulations-and-their-costs-in, 8/4/2015
6 – “Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game released by King on April 12, 2012 for Facebook, on November 14, 2012 for iOS, on December 14, 2012 for Android, on December 11, 2014 for Fire OS, on September 6, 2012 for Windows Phone, and July 29, 2015, for Windows 10 and Tizen. It is a variation on their browser game Candy Crush.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candy_Crush_Saga
7 – Trans-Pacific Partnership, https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/trans-pacific-partnership/tpp-full-text
8 – The five best aspects of this Act according to “consumer and reform advocates” and the five worst aspects in the opinion of “financial firms and their allies” are described in “The 5 Best and 5 Worst Regulations in Dodd-Frank,” by Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Fiscal Times, 7/19/2011, http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/07/19/The-5-Best-and-5-Worst-Regulations-in-Dodd-Frank. Five best: 1) Mortgage market reform 2) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 3) Oversight of derivatives 4) Power to address systemic threats 5) Investor protections. Five worst: 1) New capital standards and derivative rules 2) Interchange fees 3) The Volcker rule 4) Overlapping rules of the road 5) No housing reform.
9 – “Solyndra misled government to get $535M solar project loan: report,” by Kellan Howell and Stephen Dinan, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/26/solyndra-misled-government-get-535-million-solar-p/, 8/26/2015.
10 – “Hillary Clinton’s billionaire fundraiser got sweet deal in Solyndra collapse,” by Ben Wolfgang, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/10/hillary-clinton-fundraiser-host-george-kaiser-got-/, 12/10/2015.
11 – “Kasich fading at stage left, Paul drifting off stage right,” by Charles Krauthammer, charleskrauthammer.com, Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/15/2015
12 – “Harry Reid is proud he lied about Mitt Romney’s taxes,” by Ashe Schow, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/harry-reid-is-proud-he-lied-about-mitt-romneys-taxes/article/2562300, 3/31/2015.
13—A paraphrase of Bishop Sheen’s “The reason why chastity is on the decline is that we live in a sensate culture. In the Middle Ages, here was an Age of Faith, then came the Age of Reason in the eighteenth century; now we are living in the Age of Feeling.” From The Quotable Fulton Sheen, edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin and John L. Swan, an image book by Doubleday, New York, 1989, taken from Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1980.
When a weapon or a tactic provides an army an advantage, it is referred to as a “force multiplier.” One of clearest benefits of a force multiplier is it allows an army to have fewer troops or weapons than its enemy. For example, a general can have a million soldiers but it would mean nothing against a nuclear weapons armed enemy willing to use them.
However, force multipliers do not have to be as devastating as nuclear weapons. It is sometimes claimed that William the Conqueror defeated Harold the Great at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 because William’s French cavalry used stirrups, allowing them greater stability on their horses against the Anglo-Saxons. And the rest is history.
This is something the Right has to understand when we cite polls showing the ratio of people claiming to be conservative versus liberal to be about two to one. Even if this ratio is accurate, when you have the media, academia, Hollywood, and a number of other institutions on your side, you have quite a number of force multipliers to convince the independents to join your side.
In regards to Hillary’s campaign, in addition to Hillary’s force multipliers providing her cover for her alleged transgressions, there is the infighting within the Republican Party between the party’s “Establishment” and “Rebels.” The former associated with candidates such as John Kasich, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie, and the latter associated with candidates such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina.
This schism is real; with many on both sides claiming they will not support the GOP primary winner if he or she is from the other camp. Therefore, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency look pretty good, with the likelihood of her scandals and alleged legal problems getting the better of her bordering on wishful thinking.
Yet, sometimes wishful thinking provides the emotional lift needed to get through an ordeal. Thus, the Right also has a force multiplier in dealing with Hillary’s indiscretions. That force multiplier is the FBI.
With that in mind, and with all due respect to Ernest Thayer’s great 1888 baseball poem, “Casey at the Bat,” I offer to the Right, Hillary at the Bat.
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for Hillary C that day;
Campaigns had run their course and had nothing left to say.
Democrats have always counted on voters giving them a pass;
But this time an eerie silence fell upon the progressive class.
A straggling few saw their faith go into deep despair;
The rest clung to a hope that today seems oh so rare.
But Hillary said she’d be the country’s first female boss;
And some put up even money that Hillary would avoid the loss.
There was the server problem and that whole Benghazi deal;
But she said the former was a farce and the latter wasn’t real.
So upon their stricken membership, grim melancholy we did see;
For some believed Hillary might not keep the White House a big D.
But the server problem seemed to crash, to the wonderment of all;
And Benghazi, to no one’s surprise, off the radar it did fall.
And when the dust had lifted, it was very plain to see;
There was her foundation getting cash, and Hillary on MSNBC.
Then from countless liberal throats there rose a lusty scream;
It rumbled through faculty lounges, it curled their vegan coffee cream;
It rattled Planned Parenthood, and threw “the reverends” for a toss;
For Hillary, mighty Hillary, was saying the campaign was not a loss.
There was ease in Hillary’s manner as she stepped onto the stage;
There was fight in her bearing, like a tiger freed from her cage.
And when, responding to the cheers, she cackled with bursting glee;
No member of the DNC could doubt ’twas Hillary to the T.
Millions of eyes watched her as she prepared to deliver her tome;
And countless tongues hung low from the Hamptons down to every home.
Then while the mainstream media nervously shifted their hips;
Defiance gleamed in Hillary’s eye, a sneer curled Hillary’s lips.
And now one by one the election results came hurtling through the air;
And Hillary stood a-watching them in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy future president, the results unheeded sped;
“We got this in the bag,” said Hillary, “Strike one,” the Fox host said.
From conference rooms, full with people, there went up a muffled roar;
Like the beating of storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“How dare they vote Red?” shouted a democrat as room to room he ran;
And it’s likely they would have revolted had not Hillary raised her hand.
With a smile of Liberal charity, Hillary’s visage shouted “Yes we can;”
As she stilled the rising tumult by saying not every state can be a fan.
She winked and smiled to her loyal staff, as more election results flew;
But Hillary still ignored them, and the Fox host said, “Strike two!”
“Sexists!” cried the maddened liberals, and echo answered same;
But one sneerful look from Hillary and the audience turned tame.
They saw her face grow stern and cold, they saw her hairspray strain,
And they knew that Hillary wouldn’t let another state go Red again.
The sneer is gone from her lips, her teeth are clenched real tight;
She adjusts her pastel pants suit a little to the right.
And now the Fox host opens his mouth, and now his words did report;
And now the air is shattered by the force of Hillary’s retort.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
Somewhere folks are laughing with a loud and vigorous roar;
But there’s no joy on the Left – Hillary lost the race and the FBI is at her door.
Tony Corvo is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with a Ph.D. in physics. He is active in local Beavercreek, Ohio politics and is the author of All Politics is Loco: Musings from the Conservative Next Door. He and his wife have two grown daughters. He writes extensively on local issues. Many of his recent articles can be found at taxbusters.wordpress.com/author/phdmc2.
Permission to reprint or otherwise distribute, in whole or in part, with express attribution to Ohio Conservative Review or OhioConservativeReview.com is granted.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
By Hillary for Iowa [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
America is faced with a controversial decision on whether or not to let Syrian refugees enter its borders. You will hear both sides of the argument claim that their position on the issue is axiomatic, but is it really so black and white? We must be open-minded and open-hearted to the full issue that we are facing.
Fleeing for their lives, Syrian refugees are searching for countries without the horror of the Islamic State. On the opposite side of the world, America looks promising to them. A new life without oppression would be miraculous. The United States is a compassionate country that looks to aid those in troubled times. Our citizens know this, refugees know this, but most importantly, ISIS knows this. ISIS will seek to infiltrate the US through its empathy for Syrian refugees, and this is a picture-perfect opportunity. What better time than now to cause terror in America?
Through President Obama’s administration, 10,000 refugees are being let into the United States. Do we know who these refugees are? No, and it will be extremely difficult to vet people who we know nothing about. One of the Paris attackers was a refugee who fled to Greece, so we have seen the downsides of welcoming refugees into other European countries. Most refugees are moral people who are trying to flee their country for safety, but it is impossible to tell a difference. Those moral refugees deserve compassion, but so do the citizens of the United States. It is intellectually dishonest to believe that not a single refugee is directly linked to the Islamic State. Our overall decision to accept refugees must be made off of intellect and not emotion, we have an obligation to be cautious.
ISIS does not play by the rules, they will attack the United States at its weakest because they know we follow moral guidelines. Although it is encouraging to see love coming from the American people, love may end up putting us in a worse situation than when we started. For America, it is a time for choosing. A decision that we may regret in years to come or one we may rejoice in. Our choice must be based on intellect and compassion, but if they conflict with each other, which one is correct?
Milton Friedman famously stated, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Is our love for the damaged people in the world going to cause more damaged people in the end? Are our refugee policies based off of intention and emotion rather than truth and intellect? So far 33 out of 50 governors have spoken that they do not think refugee settlement is a good idea. There is no good or evil answer to the Syrian refugee crisis, but for right now there is an intellectual answer and an emotional one.
Corey Black is a sophomore at Ohio Christian University studying Government & Business. He is the sitting chair for Young Americans for Freedom on campus. Corey enjoys speaking on political affairs and Ohio State football.
The third Republican debate was hosted by CNN and held at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado on October 28, 2015. Moderators were John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla. Jim Cramer, Rick Santelli and Sharon Epperson joined the questioning later.
The candidates, from left to right on the televised screen: Gov. John Kasich (Ohio since 2011), Gov. Mike Huckabee (Arkansas 1996-2007), Gov. Jeb Bush (Florida 1999-2007), Sen. Marco Rubio (Florida since 2011), Donald Trump (real estate developer), Dr. Ben Carson ( Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital 1984-2013), Carly Fiorina (CEO of Hewlett-Packard 1999-2005), Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas since 2013), Gov. Chris Christie (New Jersey since 2009) and Sen. Rand Paul (Kentucky since 2011).
The format will be in the sequence of the way the questions were posed. The last section will summarize the candidates’ qualifications for President and suggestions for fulfilling other federal positions.
Quintanilla: “What’s Your Biggest Weakness?”
Note: This may be a job interview for President as Quintanilla said, but why not ask about strengths instead of embarrassing everyone right off the bat?
Kasich: Is more concerned about electing someone not qualified for the job. Anyone who suggests we dismantle Medicare and Medicaid doesn’t care about seniors. Wanting to deport eleven million illegal immigrants which will split families or proposing “tax schemes that don’t add up” are sign of a candidate’s incompetence.
Huckabee: He exposed the absurdity of the question with “Well, John, I don’t really have any weaknesses that I can think of. (laughter) But my wife is down here in the front and I’m sure if you’d like to talk to her later she can give you more than you’ll ever be able to take care of. If I have a weakness is that I try to live by the rules. I try to live by the rules no matter what they are and I was brought up that way as a kid… And I’ll tell you what a weakness is in this country . There a lot of people who are sick and tired because Washington does not play by the same rules that the American people have to play by.”
Bush: He says he’s impatient and that “this endeavor doesn’t reward that.” He can’t fake anger. Many express this in tearing down this country, for which they are unfairly rewarded. “I just don’t believe that this country’s days are going to be deeply, you know, going down. I believe we are on the verge of the greatest time and I want to fix the things to let people rise up.”
Rubio: It’s not a weakness that he “shares an optimism for America’s future that today is eroding from too many of our people.” It does not have to be true that our best days are behind us. “If we’re willing to do what it takes now, the 21st century is going to be the new American century.”
Trump: His greatest weakness is that he trusts people too much. But if he’s let down by them, he finds it “very, very hard to forgive people that deceived me.”
Carson: He had trouble seeing himself as President until “hundreds of thousands of people” told him he needed to run. He also believes in Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment” about not criticizing fellow Republicans. This election is so important “because we’re talking about America for the people versus America for the government.”
Fiorina: “Well, gee, after the last debate I was told I didn’t smile enough. (laughter as she gave her classic and truly fantastic smile – editorial comments permitted!) But I also think that these are very serious times. Seventy-five per cent of the American people think the government is corrupt, I agree with them. And this big, powerful corrupt bureaucracy works now only for the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected. Mean time, wages have stagnated for forty years. We have more Americans out of work, or just more Americans who quit looking for work for forty years. Ours was intended to be a citizen government… We need a leader who will take our government back.”
Cruz: “I’m too agreeable, easy going.” (laughter) He said he has been passionate his entire life about the Constitution. “For six and a half years, we’ve had a gigantic party. If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy. But if you want someone to drive you home, I will get the job done and I will get you home”
Christie: He said he didn’t see much weakness on this stage, but he sees it with the three on the Democratic stage. “You know, I see a socialist, and isolationist and a pessimist. And, for the sake of me, I can’t figure out which one is which. (laughter)
But I will tell you this: the socialist says they’re going to pay for everything and give you everything for free, except they don’t say they’re going to raise your taxes to 90% to do it. The isolationist is the one who wants to continue to follow a foreign policy that has fewer democracies today than when Barack Obama came into office around the world. But I know who the pessimist is: it’s Hillary Clinton. And you put me on that stage against her next September and she won’t get within ten miles of the White House. Take it to the bank.”
Paul: He left his medical practice to do something about our federal government which borrows $1 million per minute. Now we have both parties putting a bill on the floor of the Congress which will “explode the deficit… It will allow President to borrow unlimited amounts of money. I will stand firm. I will spend every ounce of energy to stop it. I will begin tomorrow to filibuster it and I ask everyone in America to call Congress tomorrow and say, ‘enough’s enough, no more debt.’”
[Harwood to Trump: He quoted several of Trump’s promises that have made him popular so far, and that it will make Americans better off because his “greatness will replace the stupidity and incompetence of others. Let’s be honest, is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?”]
Note: — such a dignified question designed to enlighten the voters
Trump: “No, it’s not a comic book and it’s not a very nicely asked question the way you say it.” Larry Kudlow like his tax plan which lowers the rate to 15%, bring back the $2.5 trillion which is outside of the U.S., etc. “As far as the wall is concerned, we’re going to build the wall. We’re going to create a border. We’re going to let people in, but they’re going to come in legally… And I get questioned about that. They built the Great Wall of China that 13,000 miles. Here we actually need 1,000 because we have natural barriers… We’re going to have people come in, but they’re coming in legally.”
He said Mexico will pay for the wall. A politician can’t get them to do it (because their leaders are smarter than ours), but he could. Harwood tried to end Trump’s time, but the candidate was able to insert that the price for such a wall is “peanuts” compared to the $50 billion trade imbalance advantage hey have over us.
Taxes and the Deficit
[Harwood claimed that Trump’s tax plan of cutting $10 trillion would not jump start economy according to economic advisors from previous president of both parties. Harwood
continued the earlier indignities by saying, “They said you have as much chance of cutting taxes that much without increasing the deficit as you would of flying away from that podium by flapping your arms.”]
Trump: Then you have to get rid of Larry Kudlow, who sits on your panel, who’s a great guy, who came out the other day and said, ‘I love Trump’s tax plan.’
Bush: “Did you look at all of our plans? And Trump’s creates, even with the dynamic effect, $8 trillion in debt.”
[Becky Quick to Carson: She has reviewed his 10% tax plan. While it has significant appeal among voters, she is “having trouble with the math.” Income in is still “leaving us with a $2 trillion hole. What analysis got you to the point where you think it will work?”]
Carson: The rate is not 10%, he was just using the tithing analogy. It will be closer to 15% which Quick said would still leave a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit. His plan also eliminates all of the deductions and loopholes. Also, strategic cutting is called for because we have 645 federal agencies and sub-agencies. “Anybody who tells me we need every penny in every one of those is in a fantasy world. An invigorated economy not bogged down by regulations is key as well. (Quick commented that a 40% reduction in government is needed to erase the deficit caused by his plan.) “It’s not true.” (Quick: “It is true. I looked at the numbers.”) “When we put all of the facts down, you’ll be able to see that it’s not true, it works out very well.”
[Harwood to Kasich: Kasich has had some criticisms of Trump and Carson for their plans. His response?]
Kasich: He reiterated that he’s the only one on the stage who has real experience balancing a federal budget. “These plans would put us trillions and trillions of dollars in debt.” His plan would create jobs, cut taxes and balance the budget. He said his plans are realistic. “Why don’t we just give a chicken in every pot while we’re coming up with these fantasy tax schemes… You have to deal with entitlements. You have to be in a position to control discretionary spending… I went into Ohio where we had an eight billion dollar hole, now we have a two billion dollar surplus. We’re up 347,000 jobs. When I was in Washington I fought to get the budget balanced… We cut taxes and we had a $5 trillion projected surplus… This stuff is fantasy just like getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid.”
[Harwood: Would Kasich be specific about whose “crazy” proposals he was talking about, which led to a lively Kasich-Trump exchange.]
Kasich: He alluded to Carson’s plan and dismissed it as attempting to “tithe” for the federal budget. (Note: Kasich must not have heard Carson’s correction of Quick’s same characterization of his plan.) He also mentioned those plans which claim to fix everything by elimination of “waste, fraud and abuse.” Or we’ll simply be “great… or we’re going to ship ten million people out of this country leaving their children here in this country and dividing families. Folks, we gotta wake up. We cannot elect somebody who doesn’t know how to do the job.”
Trump: “First of all, John got lucky with a thing called ‘fracking.’ Okay? He hit oil. He got lucky with fracking. Believe me, that’s why Ohio is doing well. And that’s important for you to know. Number two, this is the man that was a managing general partner at Lehman Brothers1 when it went down the tubes and almost took every one of us with us [sic] including Ben and myself because I was there and I watched happened. And Lehman Brothers started it all. He was on the board and he was a managing general partner. And just thirdly, he was not so nice, he was such a nice guy. And he said ‘Oh, I’m never going to attack.’ But his polls numbers tanked. That’s why he’s on the end. And he got nasty, he got nasty. So, you know what, you can have him.
Kasich: “Let me respond. First of all, Ohio does have an energy industry, but we’re diversified. We’re one of the fastest growing states in the country. We came back from the dead. And you know what? It works very, very well. And secondly, when you talk about me being on the board of Lehman Brothers—I wasn’t on the board of Lehman Brothers. I was a banker and I was proud of that and I travelled the country and learned how people make jobs. We ought to have politicians who not only have government experience, but know how the CEO’s and job creators work. My state is doing great across the board. And guess what? In 2011, (whereupon Trump talked over him so that neither could be understood)…”
Carson: “Since I was attacked, too, let me just say. If you talk about an $18 trillion economy and you’re talking about a 15% tax on your gross domestic product, you’re talking about 2.7 trillion. We have a budget closer to 3.5 trillion. But if you also apply that same 15% to several other things including corporate taxes, ah, and including, ah, the capital gains taxes you make up that amount pretty quickly. So, that’s not by any stretch pie-in-the-sky.”
Cruz: On his tax plan which is available online, a family of four pays no tax on the first $36,000 and, after that, 10% the rest of the way. “On top of that, there’s a business flat tax of 16%. It applies universally to giant corporations, that would lobby us now and are not paying taxes, and the small businesses. And you wanted to know the numbers: the Tax Foundation which has scored every one of our plans, shows that this plan will allow the economy to generate 4.9 million jobs, to raise wages over 12% and to generate 14% growth and it costs with dynamic scoring2 less than a trillion dollars. Those are the hard numbers and every single income decile sees a double-digit increase in after-tax income. (and as Quick tried to interrupt.) Growth is the answer and as Reagan demonstrated, if we cut taxes, we can bring back growth.”
Fiorina: Despite the talk about tax reform for decades, “we now have a 73,000 page tax code. There have been more than 4,000 changes to the tax plan since 2001 alone.” And despite all of the terrific ideas from various conservative think tanks, “we never get it done… And politicians say it’s so complicated, nobody but a politician can figure it out… The big problem is: we need a leader in Washington who understands how to get something done. (said over attempts to interrupt by Quintanilla, who eventually said: “You want to bring the 70,000 pages to three?”) That’s right. You know why three? (“is that using really small type?”) No, you know why three? Only when it’s about three pages are you leveling the playing field between the big, the powerful, the wealthy and the well-connected who can hire the army of lawyers and accountants and, yes lobbyists, to help them navigate their way through 73,000 pages. Three pages, is about the maximum the business owner, or a farmer or a couple can understand without hiring somebody. Almost 60% of the American people now need to hire an expert to understand their taxes.”
Rubio’s Work Ethic in the Senate
[Quintanilla to Rubio: While being in such a hurry and missing some bills in the Senate, “why not slow down, get some things done first or at least finish what you start.]
Rubio: He said Quintanilla sounds like the rest of the Republican establishment who wants him “to wait in line.” He countered that this country can’t wait any longer. Everyday Americans are struggling more than ever and “for the first time in 35 years, we have more small businesses closing than starting. We have a world that is out of control and has grown dangerous and a President that is weakening our military, and our foreign policy unstable and unreliable in the eyes of our allies. And our adversaries continue to grow stronger. They say there’s no bi-partisanship in Washington? We have a $19 trillion bipartisan debt and it continues to grow as we borrow from countries that do not like us to pay for government we cannot afford. The time to act is now. The time to turn the page is now. If we don’t act now, we will be the first generation in American history that leaves our children worse off than ourselves.”
[Quintanilla: How does he respond to the Sun Sentinel’s suggestion that he resign while running for President so that “he doesn’t rip us off”?]
Rubio: It’s amusing to him that this paper would comment on his attendance when the same paper endorsed John Kerry and Barack Obama when they missed over half of their Senate votes when they ran for President. He said this was “another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and conservative movement.” (applause)
[now for Bush’s ill-advised attempt at a personality transformation at the expense of a fellow Floridian]
Bush: “… because I’m a constituent of the senator, and I helped him, and I expected he would do constituents’ service which means he shows up to work. He got endorsed by the Sun Sentinel because he was the most talented guy in the field. He’s a gifted politician.”
“But Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work. I mean, literally, the Senate, what is it, like a French work week? [the governor extended his troubles internationally, too3] You get like three days you have to show up? You can campaign. Or just resign and let someone else take the job. There are a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck in Florida as well. [a jab at Rubio’s theme of those he wants to defend] They’re looking for a senator who will fight for them each and every day.”
Rubio: “I get to respond, right? [“You have thirty seconds.”] Well, it’s interesting over the last few weeks I’ve listened to Jeb as he walked around the country and said you’re modeling your campaign after John McCain. That you’re going to launch a furious comeback the way he did by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that, carrying your own bag at the airport. You know how many votes John McCain missed while he was carrying out that furious comeback that you’re modeling after? [Bush: “He wasn’t my senator.”] Jeb, I don’t remember, well, let me tell you, I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record. The only reason why you’re doing it now is because we’re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you. Here’s the bottom line, (applause) I’m not, my campaign is about the future of America , it’s not going to be about attacking anyone else on this stage. I will continue to have tremendous respect and admiration for Gov. Bush. I’m not running against Gov. Bush. I’m not running against anyone on this stage. I’m running for President because there is no way we can elect Hillary Clinton to continue the policies of Barack Obama. (applause and a little confusion which the moderators tried to corral, with little success at first)
Why Has Bush Fallen in the Polls?
[Harwood: Gov. Bush’s place at the fifth spot signifies his drop in the polls despite much financial support. After cutting payroll, he said he “had better things to do than be demonized—“]
Bush: No, he said that, if elected President, he would not maintain the current dysfunctional situation in Washington. He has a proven record as governor that he makes changes where necessary.
[Harwood continued: Former Fed. Reserve chairman, appointed by Bush’s brother, said he no longer could consider himself a Republican because the party has fallen to a “know nothingism” philosophy. Is this is what’s hurting Jeb Bush’s campaign?]
Bush: The American people “believe in a hopeful future” that is not exemplified by building a wall, etc. However, these aspirations have a lid as shown by the numbers of part-time workers and our current worker participation percentages lower than what we had in 1977, also “six million more people living in poverty than the day when Barack Obama got elected President. And the Left just wants more of the same. We have to offer a compelling alternative that is based on hope and optimism and grounded in serious policy which I’ve laid out. And you can go get it at jeb2016.com.”
Why Should America Hire Fiorina with Her Record at Hewlett-Packard?
[momentary confusion again until Quick to Fiorina: The stock market is usually a good indication of a CEO’s performance. Investors lost half of their stock value during her years leading Hewlett-Packard. While it was a tough time for technology companies, still, Fiorina’s board fired her. “I just wondered why you think we should hire you now.”]
Fiorina: The NASDAQ lost 80% and took fifteen years to recover. She was hired to help a company with a bureaucracy which “cost too much and delivered too little to shareholders.” H-P had missed expectations for nine consecutive quarters. She cut the excess, “reintroduced accountability, focused on service, on innovation, on leading in every market and every segment… We saved 80,000 jobs and grew to 160,000” while many competitors, like Gateway, failed costing many jobs. She was able to make difficult decisions in a difficult time and “people are looking for that in Washington.” She was fired over a disagreement in the board room, which are not immune to politics. “And yet, the man who led my firing, Tom Perkins an icon of Silicon Valley, has come out publicly and said, ‘You know what? We were wrong, she was right. She was a great CEO. She’d make a great President of the United States because the leadership she brought to H-P is exactly the leadership we need in Washington, D.C.’”
[Quick: But Perkins “has said questionable things like ‘wealthy people should get more votes.’ Is this the type of person you want to defend you?”]
Fiorina: “Well, this is one of the reasons Tom Perkins and I had disagreements in the board room, Becky.” (laughter) People don’t realize the level of accountability which besets CEO’s. She “had to answer every single question about every single result and every single projection, in public, until there were no more questions. And if I misrepresented those projections or those results in any way, I was held criminally liable. Imagine, imagine, if a politician were held to that standard of account. I will run on my record all day long. And I believe people need a leader who is prepared to make tough calls in tough times and stand up and be held accountable.” (applause)
Cruz Defends the Group on Stage at the Expense of Answering His Question
[Quintanilla to Cruz: Congress is on the verge of an agreement which will raise the debt ceiling, but prevent a government shutdown and jittery markets. Does Cruz’s opposition to this indicate that he is not a problem solver?]
Cruz: “The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media. (applause) This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions, Donald Trump are you a comic book villain?, Ben Carson can you do math?, John Kasich will you insult two people over here?, Marco Rubio why don’t you resign?, Jeb Bush why have your numbers fallen? How about the substantive issues people care about? (raucous applause) Carl, I’m not finished yet. The contrast with the Democratic debate where every fawning question from the media was, ‘Which of you is more handsome and wise.’ And let me be clear (Quintanilla: “You have thirty seconds left to answer should you choose to do so.”) Let me be clear. The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.”4 (applause)
“And nobody watching at home believes that any of the moderators has any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions that are being asked shouldn’t be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be substantive solutions to (unintelligible amid moderator speaking over each other).” Repeated “you don’t want to hear the answer” from Cruz as Harwood attempted to move on to the next question and candidate and “you used your time on something else” from Harwood followed by “You’re not interested in an answer” by Cruz.
Budget Cuts in Some Areas, But the Debt Rises
[Harwood to Paul: The recent budget bill crafted by Speaker Boehner and passed makes cuts in some social programs. Does Paul believes the cuts weren’t sufficient?}
Paul: He’s opposed because it’s taking from entitlements “and spending t immediately on other items.” Money taken from Social Security will, instead, go to the military and social spending. The sequester was passed four years ago in an attempt to slow government spending. Instead, the Washington establishment raised both (money from entitlements went to military and domestic spending.) and “the deficit will explode under this… Right and Left are spending us into oblivion. We should use the debt ceiling as precisely designed to force upon them budgetary reform.”
[Harwood: So why did both Boehner and Ryan (the latter known for fiscal discipline) do this?]
Paul: There appears to be little change in the House despite new leadership. Paul is more concerned about bankrupting the country than keeping the government open.
[Quick to Christie: Huckabee and others say his proposals to change Social Security amount to stealing the benefits seniors have earned. “When is it acceptable to break a social compact?”]
Christie: The government has lied when it said Social Security money is in a trust fund. Only IOU’s are there now. The money was spent elsewhere and now, Social Security will be insolvent in 7-8 years. “Seventy-one per cent of what is spent today is on entitlements and debt service.”5 He is the only one who has made a proposal dealing with entitlements and it will save $1 trillion over ten years.
Hillary Clinton’s solution is to raise Social Security taxes. To which he responds, “If somebody’s already stolen money from you, are going to give him more?” (laughter) Or are you going to deal with the problem by saying I’m going to give people who have done well in this country less benefits on the back end. We need to get realistic about this. We’re not.”
[Quintanilla to Huckabee: 60 seconds on this]
Huckabee: It’s true that we’ve lied and stolen from people regarding Social Security. “But there’s one thing we haven’t told them: it’s their money… it’s not entitlement, it’s not welfare! This is money that people had confiscated out of their paychecks… Now, we’re going to blame the people. Today, Congress took another $150 billion away from Social Security so they can borrow more money!.. And they always say they’re going to fix this one day. No they’re not. It’s like a 400-pound man saying ‘I’m going to go on a diet, but I’m going to eat a sack of Krispy Kremes before I do… Let’s quit blaming the people on Social Security. Let’s quit making it a problem for them. It’s like them getting mugged, and then us saying we’re going to mug you some more, to get over it, get used to it. No, sir. We need to honor our promises . (moderator attempted to end his answer) – Let me finish, it’s the only time I’ve had a chance. Let me finish. This a matter, not of math. This is a matter of morality. If this country does not keep its promise to seniors, then what promise can this country hope to be trusted to keep? ”
Christie: The only moral thing we can do is tell them the truth. “It isn’t their money any more, Mike, it’s stolen. It got stolen from them. It’s not theirs anymore. The government stole it and spent it a long time ago. (Huckabee: “But, Chris –“) So let’s stop fooling around about this. Let’s tell people the truth. For once let’s do that and stop trying to give them some kind of fantasy that’s never going to come true.” (writer’s question: Does that mean if a person steals from someone and spend it before prosecution, then no judge may require reparation?)
Cruz: This recent bill passage illustrates the dysfunction in Washington. Republicans joined with “every single Democrat to add $80 trillion to our debt.” Yet, no problems were solved. Regarding Social Security, he believes both Huckabee and Christie are right. We must honor our commitments.
But for Cruz, who’s 44-years old, finds few of his generation who believe Social Security will be there for them. The right thing to do: make no changes for current seniors and slowly change the retirement age for younger workers, “changing the rate of growth so that it matches inflation and critically allowing younger workers to keep a portion of our tax payments in a personal account that we own, we control and we can pass on to our kids. We can do both.
Huckabee: For one-third of those on Social Security, it represents 90% of their income. The government has no business stealing more” through “means-testing.” People paid into it and should receive it. “… then tell what’s different between Bernie Madoff6 who sits in prison today for doing less than what the government has done to people on Social Security and Medicare in this country.” (applause)
Trump’s Company Bankruptcies
[Quick to Trump: Although he has done well in Atlantic City, four bankruptcies have occurred under his lead hurting many. Since a bankruptcy is a broken promise, why should Americans believe his on the campaign?”]
Trump: All of the biggest people in businesses have used the chapter laws to their benefit. Atlantic City “has gone bad” with virtually all hotels and even Caesar’s are in bankruptcy. This “is disgraceful.” He, however, has never filed it personally. Of the hundreds of companies he has opened, three perhaps four have gone bankrupt. Things came out great and he can do the same for the U.S. “We owe $19 trillion. Boy, am I good at solving debt problems. Nobody can solve it like me. But I will tell you this: Atlantic City, you’re using that, hundreds of companies I’ve opened have thrived. I built a net worth of way over $10 billion and I’ve done it four times out of hundreds. Am I’m glad I did it. I used the laws of the country to my benefit. I’m sorry.”
Some Pharmaceuticals Have Had Excessive Price Increases
[Cramer to Carson: Should the government be involved with some of the huge price increases brought on by pharmaceutical companies?]
Carson: It’s true that some have realized excessive profits. As a starting point, what can government do for the average American? The problems begin with small manufacturers of anything, not just pharmaceuticals. For companies with fewer than fifty employees, the cost of regulations is about $34,000 per employee. “Instead of picking on this group or this group, we’re going to have to have a major reduction in the regulatory influence going on. The government is not supposed to be in every part of our lives and that’s what’s causing the problem.”
GM’s Faulty Ignition Switch: Because Many died, Should There Have Been Jail Time?
[Cramer to Christie: Some have suggested that some bank executives should have gone to jail for the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, General Motors paid $1+ billion in fines and settlements for their faulty ignition switches for which 124 people died. No one went to jail. Since Christie was a former prosecutor, does he believe some should have gone including those involved in the cover-up?]
Christie: “You bet they do. And if I were the prosecutor that’s exactly where they’d be.” Our current justice department is a political one which “wants to choose who the winners and losers are. They like General Motors, so they give them a pass. They don’t like somebody else, like David Petraeus, they prosecute and send the decorated general to disgrace.7” (applause)
In his seven years as U.S. attorney, they “went after pharmaceutical company, we went after companies that were ripping off shareholders, we went after companies that were doing things against the law. And to expand on Mr. Carson’s – Dr. Carson’s question, let’s face it, we have laws already. We don’t need more laws. We don’t need Hillary Clinton’s price controls. For again – does anybody out there think that giving Washington D.C. the opportunity to run the pharmaceutical industry is a good idea.” (laughter)
Accept Tax Increase If Spending Was Cut Ten Times More?
[Harwood to Bush: Four years ago, every Republican candidate promised to oppose any tax increase even if accompanied by larger spending cuts. “A few months later, you told Congress ‘put me in coach’ you’d take that deal. Still feel that way?]
Bush: Obama got his massive spending deal with no cuts. With more regulations, now we have to accept 2% annual growth. Since Obama took over, middle class Americans have $2,300 less than they did before he took office. With Hillary Clinton, we’ll get a third term of the same. He cut taxes $19 billion in Florida and created 1.3 million jobs and they were one of two states to have a AAA bond rating.
[Harwood: If you were President, would you accept a bi-partisan deal with a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases?]
Bush: We couldn’t find a Republican that would do that, much less a Democrat. (Harwood: So you don’t want the coach to put you in anymore?] “Look, the deal was already done, the biggest tax increase has come under the watch of Barack Obama and spending has gone up. You find a Democrat that’s for cutting taxes or spending ten dollars and I’ll give them a warm kiss.” (laughter)
Should Internet Businesses Be Taxed?
[Quintanilla to Fiorina: In 2010, when running for the Senate, she said a tax on the internet would be a bad deal, something traditional stores disagreed with. Now that the internet has matured, is there a fair plan to even that playing field?]
Fiorina: Crony capitalism, which is where only the big and powerful can handle it, is alive and well in D.C. So why have pharmaceutical companies and banks consolidating? Because as government gets bigger, companies feel they must do the same to cope. Meanwhile 1590 community banks went under. “You see, folks, this is how socialism starts. Government causes a problem. Then, government steps in to solve the problem. This why we fundamentally take our government back. The student loan problem has been created by government. Government trying to level the playing field between internet and brick and mortar creates a problem. The FCC jumping in now and say we’re going to put four hundred pages of regulation over the internet is going to create massive problems. Guess who pushed for that regulation? The big internet companies. This is what’s going on. Big and powerful use big and powerful government to their advantage. It’s why you see Walgreen’s buying Rite-Aid… It’s why you see the banks consolidating. And meanwhile, small businesses are getting crushed, community based businesses and farms are getting crushed, community banks are going out of business. Big government favors the big, the powerful, the wealthy, the well-connected and crushes the small and the powerless.”
[Quick to Rubio: Due to self-admitted lack of bookkeeping skills, he inadvertently mingled campaign money with personal, faced foreclosure on a second home8 and liquidated a $68,000 retirement fund costing him thousands in taxes and penalties. “It raises the question, do you have the maturity and wisdom to lead this $17 trillion dollar economy. What do you say?]
Rubio: He wasn’t going to give sixty seconds to charges aimed to discredit him. First of all, he didn’t inherit any money. He had to work his way through school as well as borrow money. He had to explain early in his marriage “why someone named Sallie Mae was taking a thousand dollars every month out of (their) bank account?” (laughter)
“I know what it’s like to owe that money and we worked hard. We worked hard. We’ve worked hard all our life to provide a better life for our family. We own a home four blocks away from the place I grew up in. Our four children have been able to receive a good Christian education and I’ve been able to save for them to go to college so they never have to have the loans that I did.” But he’s more worried about the finances of others who are struggling in an economy that doesn’t produce enough good paying jobs.
[Quick: She understands as she had loans, too. But he had a “windfall” of $1 million from the sale of his book, and after the fact, lost $24,000 in that liquidation of a retirement fund.]
Rubio: That’s why his tax plan increases the per child tax credit. He knows firsthand how expensive it is to raise a family, and he makes more than the average family. If we elect Hillary Clinton, it will be more of the same slow growth.
Export Import Bank vs. Business Incentives
[Harwood to Kasich: How does he reconcile his opposition To the ExIm Bank, he described as “corporate welfare,” while at the same time offering incentive to companies as part of his Jobs Ohio program? In other words, why is it OK for Ohio companies, but not for those who compete overseas?]
Kasich: We’re reforming welfare for poor people, the same should go for rich. Ohio has gone from losing 350,000 jobs to a gain of 347,000. The state’s wages are rising faster than the national average and he has cut taxes significantly including “no taxes on small businesses and killing the death tax.” The recent spending bill is typical of what has happened since he left Washington. “You spend the money today and you hope you save the money tomorrow.” He has a plan to get the nation back to a balanced budget. To do this, we need to cut expenses and grow the economy. Regarding business incentives: “Our incentives are tight and we make sure that we gain more from the creation of jobs than we lose.” He’s also in favor of a Constitutional amendment for a balanced budget.
Gender Wage Inequality
[Quick to Cruz: Working women still make only 77% of what men make. He’s criticized Democratic ideas as “political showboat.” What would he do as President?]
Cruz: The Democratic solution is more government control of wages and more empowering trial lawyers to fight lawsuits. His family has several single moms, so he’s aware of the problems. The Democrats seem to overlook that 3.7 million women have entered poverty during the Obama years. His big government has lowered women’s median wages by $733. “Big government benefits the wealthy, the lobbyist, the giant corporations. And the people getting hammered are small businesses, single moms and Hispanics. That is whom I’m fighting for, the people that Washington leaves behind.”
Fiorina: “Becky, it is the height of hypocrisy for Mrs. Clinton to talk about being the first woman President when every single policy she espouses, and every single policy of Obama has been demonstrably bad for women. Ninety-two per cent (applause) Ninety-two per cent of the jobs lost during Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women. Senator Cruz is precisely right. Three million women have fallen into poverty under this Administration. The number of women living in extreme poverty is the highest level on record. I am a conservative because I know our values, our principles and policies work better to lift everyone up – men and women.”
Carson and His Involvement With the Corporate World
[Quintanilla to Carson: Concerning his involvement on corporate boards: Costco was recently called the most gay-friendly brand in a recent marketing survey partly because its domestic partner benefits. Why would he serve on a company whose policies seem to be contrary to his views on homosexuality?]
Carson: Apparently, his views on homosexuality are misunderstood. The Constitution protects everybody. “I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. And there is no reason that you can’t be perfectly fair to the gay community. They shouldn’t automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman that you are a homophobe. And this one of the myths that the Left perpetrates on our society. And this is how they frighten people and get people to shut up. You know that is what the PC culture is all about and it’s destroying our nation. The fact of the matter is, we the American people are not each other’s enemies. It’s those people who are trying to divide us who are the enemies and we need to make that very clear to everybody.” (applause)
[Quintanilla to Carson: Mannatech makes nutritional supplements and he had a ten-year relationship with them. “They paid $7 million to settle a deceptive lawsuit.” Why did he continue his involvement with them?]
Carson: Easy answer, he did not have any involvement with them.9 “That’s total propaganda.” He made some paid speeches for them, but “it is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it’s a good product.”
[Quintanilla: To be fair, his photo with their logo behind them was on their home page.]
Carson: “If somebody put me on their home page, they did it without my permission.”
[Quintanilla: “Does that not speak to your vetting process or judgment in any way?]
Carson: “No, it speaks to the fact that I didn’t know what was going on.” (as crowd boos the moderator) “See, they know.” (laughter and cheering)
Immigration and Segue to Super PAC’s
[Harwood to Rubio: He has been a promoter of the “H1B” immigration visas (for workers with special skills) which are helping the tech industry. Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) said these are being used to undercut wages of qualified workers already here. “Why is he wrong?”]
Rubio: If a company is caught doing that, they should never be able to use it again. We need new laws, e.g. before hiring foreigners, the job should be advertised for 180 days. Should also have to prove that these workers will receive more, thus, removing the “undercutting” suspicion. The best solution is to train our own people for 21st century jobs. He can’t understand why we stopped vocational training… There abuses and companies need to be barred from the program and we also need strict standards to ensure it is not abused.
[Quick to Trump: You have been critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who wants an increase in these visas –]
Trump: “I was not at all critical of him, not at all. In fact, frankly, he’s complaining about the fact that we are losing some of the most talented people.” They come from all countries to our best universities and when they graduate, they are sent out.
[Quick: “Where did I read this or come up with this?”]
Trump: “Probably, I don’t know, you people write this stuff.” (laughter) “And I’d like to say just one thing. I am the only one in either campaign that’s self-funding… So far, I’ve put up less than anybody and have the best results… Super PAC’s are a disaster. They’re a scam. They cause dishonesty and you’d better get rid of them because they are causing a lot of bad decisions to be made by some very good people. And I’m not blaming these folks, but, I guess I could… And if anything come from this whole thing with some of these nasty and ridiculous questions, I tell you, you’d better get rid of the super PAC’s.”
[Quick to Trump: You called Rubio “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator” because he was in favor of the H1B.]
Trump: “I’ve never said this.” Followed by repeated quizzical comments from Quick and Trump denying the report including “somebody really doing some bad fact-checking”.
Rubio: “The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC. It’s called the mainstream media. (Vocal laughter) ”And I’ll tell you why. Last week, Hillary Clinton went before a committee. She admitted she had sent emails to her family saying, ‘Hey, this attack at Benghazi was caused by Al-Qaeda like elements. She went over a week telling the families of those victims, and the American people, because it was over a video. And yet, the mainstream media’s going around saying it was the greatest week in Hillary Clinton’s campaign. It was the week she got exposed as a liar. (cheering) But she has her super PAC helping her out.”
What Should be Done with the Federal Reserve?
[Rick Santelli to Cruz: With your criticism of the Federal Reserve Bank, should Congress be involved in monetary policy, or even downsize it completely?]
Cruz: First, there should be an audit of the Fed. And he was an original sponsor of Ron (Rand) Paul’s audit the Fed legislation. Secondly, we need a bi-partisan commission to return to rules-based monetary policy. The “quantitative easing” experiment needs to be eliminated.10 The Fed is doing great on Wall Street, rising stock prices have given the top 1% the highest percentage of worth since 1928. But, for the average person, rising prices are harmful. Too much loose money caused by the “fed trying to juice our economy” is the culprit. The Fed should be focused on sound money and monetary stability, preferably tied to gold.
[Santelli posed the same question to Paul}
Paul: Former Fed chairman Bernanke’s labeling the Republicans as “know nothings” is precisely why the Fed needs auditing. It’s a problem when something as powerful as the Fed lobbies against being audited. The Fed has caused income inequality. And let’s “ask them how they caused the housing boom and the crisis. Need to free up interest rates, which are the price of money, because “we shouldn’t have price controls on the price of money.”
Oil Subsidies Used for Ethanol Processing
[Santelli to Carson: Carson is opposed to government subsidies “because they interfere with the free market. Yet, he supports oil subsidies be applied to ethanol processing. “Isn’t that just swapping one subsidy for another, Doctor?]
Carson: Since that statement, he realizes he was wrong. He has studied the issue and now believes that “the best policy is to get rid of all subsidies and get the government out of lives and let the people rise and fall based on how good they are. And, you know, all this ‘too big to fail’ stuff and picking and choosing winners and losers, this is a bunch of crap. And it is really causing (laughter) a great deal of problems for our society right now… The reason I hate them (regulations) so much is because every single regulation costs in terms of goods and services. That cost gets passed on to the people. ” It only hurts the poor and middle class. While Bernie Sanders says it’s all because of the rich, however, we take everything from the top 1% rich and it wouldn’t make a dent in our deficit.
Income Inequality and Focus on Treating Diseases
[Quick to Huckabee: He has been a proponent hat those responsible for the housing crash should have gone to jail. Besides his tax plan, does he have other ways to address income inequality?]
Huckabee: “I don’t think it’s so much when the government orders a corporation to do something. In fact, that’s part of the problem. If you saw that blimp that cut loose from Maryland today, it’s a perfect example of government. What we had was something the government made, basically a bag of gas, that cut loose, destroyed everything in its path, left thousands of people powerless. But they couldn’t get rid of it because we had too much money invested in it, so we had to keep it.11 That is our government today. We saw it in the blimp. (laughter)
Corporations must act responsibly. Current CEO pay is often excessive. “The bottom 90% of the economy has had stagnant wages for forty years. Somebody is taking it in the teeth… I’m not anti-Wall Street, but I don’t believe the government ought to wear a team jersey and pick winners and losers. The government ought to wear a striped shirt and make sure the game is played fairly.” (He then pursued and received extra time as others have.) “We ought to be focused on what fixes this country… Why aren’t we talking about, instead of cutting benefits for old people, cutting benefits for sick people, why don’t’ we say ‘let’s cure the four cost-driving diseases: diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. If you do that, you just don’t change the economy, you transform the lives of millions of hurting Americans.”
[Harwood to Bush: Why does his tax plan tax labor (income at 28%) higher than investment (20%)?]
Bush: His plan gives middle America the biggest break. A family of four pays no tax at $40,000 income. We must simplify the code as well lower rates. Regulatory weight in cost is why small businesses are failing. We need radical changes in the various fiscal policies. The current Democratic philosophy has been tried and it just doesn’t work.
[Harwood to Rubio: The Tax Foundation concluded that his tax plan gave twice as much to the top earners vs. the middle income people. Since he is the champion of the “paycheck-to-paycheck” isn’t his plan “backward”?]
Rubio: No, the larger after-tax gain goes to the lower brackets. (A Harwood-Rubio debate ensued. Harwood said the top 1% would receive 27.9% while the middle gets 15%.) Rubio said the greatest percentage gains would be at the lower incomes. He would increase the per child tax credit for working families and lower taxes on small businesses. No business would pay more than a 25% flat rate on business income. It also doesn’t tax investments at all making it a pro-growth plan “because the more you tax something, the less of it you get.”
[Sen. Paul was denied a chance to follow-up so he asked what the rules were. Quick: “at the moderator’s discretion.” Light laughter in support of the senator. Eventually, he was given time.]
Paul: Not helping middle Americans is the chief argument against many of the flat tax proposals. His tax plan is unique in that it eliminates the payroll tax, by shifting it to the business. Cutting personal income tax isn’t enough. By spreading the tax over all economic levels, it’s more likely to be supported.
Cruz: Paul’s plan is a good one and Cruz’s 10% plan also eliminates: the payroll tax, the death tax and the business income tax. It’s also the lowest personal rate of any candidate. Taxes could be filed on a postcard, thus eliminating the IRS.
Marijuana… Then Income Inequality Again
[Quintanilla to Kasich: The Colorado governor had not been in favor of legalizing it in his state, but he has come to say that, since legalization, those who were smoking still smoke but are now contributing to the state’s revenue. Is that attractive for Ohio?]
Kasich: Firstly, Ohio has a $2 billion surplus. “Sending mixed signals to kids about drugs is a disaster. Drugs is one of the greatest scourge (sic) in this country. I’ve spent five in my administration working with my team to do a whole sort of things to try and rein in the problem of overdoses.”
Regarding income inequality, “my program would move the 104 programs of the federal Department of Education into four block grants and send them back to the states because income inequality is driven by a lack of skills. When kids don’t get what they to be able to compete and win in this country.” To get the U.S. growing again, he would freeze regulations, except for public safety, cut taxes, balance the budget and “we need to send power, money and influence… out of Washington and back to the states… not a one-size-fits-all mentality that they have.”
Returning to Rubio, Zuckerberg and H1B Visas
[Quick to Trump: Regarding the issue of H1B visas, she found on his web site where it says that Rubio is Zuckerberg’s personal senator because his bill would triple these visas and “that would decimate women and minorities.” Are you in favor of H1B’s?]
Trump: He is in favor of legal immigration. “You can have it any way you want.” Visas, work permits, whatever the name. He has created tens of thousands of jobs and he will make that millions if elected.
Rubio: In addition, our current process for permanent residents is based on having a relative here. That’s how his parents came here in 1956. “But in 2015, we have a very different economy.” Now, we need to have a system based on merit and whether the person wants to become a citizen. “Not just live in America, but be an American.”
Guns in the Workplace
[Quintanilla to Trump: Based on his statements that schools with adults carrying guns would be safer than gun-free zones, would he be comfortable with his employees carrying them to work?]
Trump: He would be comfortable, after all, he carries one, but not all of the time. It helps to be unpredictable. (laughter) Unfortunately, we as a nation are predictable to our enemies, which is dangerous “because they know exactly what we’re doing.”
“Gun-free zones… that’s target practice for the sicko’s and the mentally ill.. They look around for gun-free zones.” He recalled the killings on a military base where even decorated soldiers weren’t allow to carry guns.
Does Leading Candidate Trump Have the Moral Authority to Lead? Plus Hucakabee vs. Clinton Machine
[Harwood to Huckabee, question asked with consideration of Huckabee’s religious background]
Huckabee: (crowd displeasure) “You know, as few questions I’ve got, the last one I need is to give him some more time. I love Donald Trump. (laughter) He’s a good man. I’m wearing a Trump tie. (Trump grins) Get over that one, okay? After fellow candidates asked if it was made in China or Mexico, Trump said, “Such a nasty question, but thank you, governor.”
Huckabee: “You’re welcome. Donald Trump would be a better President every day of the week and twice on Sunday rather than Hilary. I’ve spent a lifetime in politics fighting the Clinton machine. You want to talk about what we’re going to be up against next year? I’m the only guy on this stage… the only guy that has consistently fought the Clinton machine every election I was ever in for the past twenty-six years. And not only did I fight them, I beat them… And not only did I fight them and win, but I lived to tell about it. (crowd approval) … And I think that ought to be worth something.”
Christie: “John, you want to talk about moral authority, let’s talk about what happened this week in the news. You know, the FBI director, the President’s appointed FBI director has said this week, that because of a lack of support for politicians like the President of the United States, the police are afraid to get out of their cars. They’re afraid to enforce the law. He says, the President’s appointee, that crime is going up because of this. When the President of the united States gets out to speak about it, does he support police officers. Does he stand up for law enforcement? No, he doesn’t. I’ll tell you this: the number one job of the President of the United States is to protect the safety and security of the American people.” If he’s President, the police will know that they have his support. “That’s real moral authority that we need in the Oval Office.” (vocal applause)
Federal Government and 401(K)’s
[Sharon Epperson to Fiorina: Her former company offered a 401(K) for her employees, but half of all workers don’t have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. Should the federal government be more involved with this?}
Fiorina: “No, the federal government should play a larger role.” The more government becomes involves, the problems increase, then the government steps in to fix it and we are closer to Hillary Clinton’s progressive vision. Companies should offer benefits if they wish to attract the best employees. Trouble is, “if you’re a small businesses owner today, you are being crushed. We have 400,000 small businesses forming every year in this country. How great is that?… The bad news is that we have 470,000 going out of business every year. Why? They cite Obamacare. (Epperson: “You wouldn’t agree with a starter 401(K) for businesses like that?) It’s great that companies choose to set up a 401(K), but there’s no Constitutional basis for the federal government setting up retirement plans or minimum wages.
[Epperson to Kasich: The nation has $100 billion in student loan defaults. What would he do about is so that the effects don’t impact future generations?]
Kasich: Changes in Ohio: no payments to the university unless a student graduates or complete a course. High school students have the opportunity to complete nearly a full first year of college before leaving high school. Schools often have non-academic assets. For example, Ohio Sate sold its parking lot and garage because school should not be in that business. Also, “they shouldn’t be in the dining business, they shouldn’t be in the dorm business.” On-line education helps with student costs, too. Legitimate public service could be used as a way of paying off education loans.
Bush: “We don’t need the federal government to get involved with at all.” Florida has the lowest in-state tuition because of accountability as Kasich was saying. The states can improve graduation rates and lower costs, thus preventing future generations from being burdened. (Kasich mentioned Bush’s father’s “1,000 points of life.”12
Should Fantasy Sports Be Regulated? … And Watch Christie Question the Obvious Lack of Priorities
[Quintanilla to Bush: Fantasy sports have the elements of gambling. Therefore, should the federal government treat it as such?]
Bush: “Well, first of all, I’m 7-0 in my fantasy football league. (laughter) Grankowski is still going strong. I have Ryan Tannehill, Marco, as my quarterback and he was 18 for 19 last week, so I’m doing great. But we’re not gambling and I think this has become something that needs to be looked at in terms of regulation. Effectively, it’s day trading without any regulation at all. And when you have insider information which apparently has been the case, where people use that information… If they can’t regulate themselves, then the NFL needs to look at moving away from them a little bit and there should be some regulation.” But the federal government? Probably not the best way.
Christie: “Carl, are we really talking about getting the government involved in fantasy football? We have—wait a second, we have $19 trillion in debt, we have people out of work, we have ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacking us and we’re fantasy football? Can we stop? (raucous cheering) Can we just stop? I mean, seriously. No, how about this? How about we get the government to do what they’re supposed to be doing: secure our borders, protect our people and support American values and American families. Enough of fantasy football. Let people play! WHO CARES.”
[Fiorina was unable to break in, so Harwood to Christie: He is at odds with many in his party that climate change is real and human activity contributes to it. What should be done?]
Christie: First, we don’t follow the wishes of the Democrats which is to put more taxes on it, thus sending more money to Washington because “there’s no evidence that they can fix anything in Washington, D.C. (Harwood: “What should we do?”) What we should do is be investing in all types of energy, John. All types of energy. (Harwood: “You mean government?) No, John, you want me to answer or do you want to answer? … Because I got tell you the truth, even in New Jersey is what you’re doing called rude. (crowd approval) A good question to ask in a gathering is what are the top three states in producing solar energy. “California and Arizona are easy. But number three is New Jersey. Why? Because we work with the private sector to make solar energy affordable and available to businesses and individuals in our state.” Natural gas and oil are still important. Wind power has become important in Iowa. But, “not through government intervention, not through government taxes and for God’s sake, don’t send Washington another dime until they stop wasting the money they are already sending there.” (applause)
Medicare: Good or Bad?
[Quick to Paul: Reagan opposed Medicare in its formation in the 1960’s because he said it would lead to socialism. Was he correct?]
Paul: The question of whether the private sector or the government does better in all things usually comes to the conclusion that the government does an inferior job. Medicare’s problem is the average person has contributed $100,000 but eventually receives $350,000 (Note: that’s not an apples to apples comparison as early money contributed is worth more in today’s dollars and Paul is disregarding earnings on those contributions.) Changes in demographics have had us go from sixteen workers to retired recipient to three. His plans will fix Medicare and Social Security but no solution works unless people are willing to gradually raise the retirement age.
Huckabee: Because 85% of Medicare costs are from chronic diseases, “we need to declare war on the four big cost drivers because 80% of all medical costs in this country are chronic disease. We don’t have a health care crisis in America, we have a health crisis. And until we deal with the health of Americans and do what we did with polio when I was a little kid, we eradicated it… focus on the diseases which are costing us trillions of dollars: Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, cancer.”
Bush: Major reductions in benefits in Medicare and Social Security are inevitable if we do nothing. His plan includes health savings accounts to encourage saving and a minimum of Social Security benefits at 125% of the poverty level, appropriate for a generous country.
[Harwood to Trump: You have said that you will grow this economy so much that Medicare and Social Security won’t even be touched.}
Trump: He will bring jobs and manufacturing back from Japan, China, Mexico, etc. “We’re going to cut costs. We’re going to save Social Security and we’re going to save Medicare.
Bush: Social Security has to be reformed so that “the wealthiest don’t receive the same benefits as lower income.” Private savings need to be encouraged through a simplification of what it takes for a small employer to set up a 401(K). “But the idea, you can’t grow your way out of this.”
Kasich: Ohio took a 10% growth rate in Medicare to 2.5% “without taking one person off the rolls or cutting one single benefit. In so much of what we did to force competition, to use technology, to stand down the special interest groups… But I agree with Jeb, you can’t just do this by growing the economy… why don’t we start giving people incentives to keep people healthy.”
Paul: We can’t do nothing. “The age will have to rise… You will also to means test the benefits and declare there’s not enough money. It isn’t ‘Oh, I put money in, I’m getting it back. There is no money… There’s only a promise to pay by the next generation and the next generation’s not big enough to pay it.”
[Harwood to Carson: His proposal to replace Medicare with family savings accounts is controversial. How would it work?]
Carson: Plan gives the option of opting out, it is not required. The Medicare budget averages $12,500 for each person on it. There many private sector which will give more than that same amount spent by the government. “It was never intended that the government should be in every aspect of our lives. This is a country that is for and by the people.”
Christie: Ben Carson is right and Hillary Clinton is wrong. Hillary wants more money sent to Washington and will solve the problem. We’re living longer which is a blessing “and we need to increase the retirement age to reflect that blessing.”
[Harwood: So, Dr. Carson is right about replacing Medicare with individual savings accounts?”]
Christie: No, he said Carson’s ideas are good ideas, but they are not his. While he doesn’t agree with all of Carson’s ideas, what we are seeing the Republican debate was not present in the Democrats’: Ideas being exchanged in an attempt to help the voters. “Let me tell you everybody. When they (Democratic candidates) tell you they want to give you everything for free, keep your hands on your wallet because they’re coming to you pay for it. And that’s why I think these ideas are great and that’s why we should have more discussions like this and less ‘gotcha’.”
Rubio: “The Republican party is blessed to have ten good candidates. The Democrats can’t even come up with one… We’re all talking about reform for future generations, nothing has to change for current beneficiaries. My mother is on Medicare and Social Security. I’m against anything that’s bad for my mother. (laughter) So, we’re talking about reforms for people like me, and people like Senator Cruz, as he talked about earlier, who are years away from retirement that have a way to plan for these changes in a way that’s very reasonable. And it’s not too much to ask of our generation after everything our parents and our grandparents did for us.”
Fiorina: “John, a lot of people have jumped in. I’d like to jump in. A lot of people have jumped in. I understand, but… (Harwood: “You wanted us to limit, but all right, go ahead.”) She agrees that a lot of great ideas are present. We’ve talked about Medicare and Social Security in every election, but nothing ever happens. “Let us actually go to zero-based budgeting, so we know where the money is being spent. It’s kind of basic. There’s a bill sitting in the House that would actually pass and have us go to zero-based budgeting13 so we know where every dime of your money is being spent instead of only talking about how much more we’re going to spend year after year… We need to tackle the basics in order to cut this government down to size.”
Closing Statements (in the actual order they spoke)
Paul: “Liberty thrives when government is small. I want a government so small I can barely see it. I want a government so small the individual has a chance to thrive and prosper. I think the government is too big now. What you’re going to see in Washington this week is establishment Republicans have made an agreement with the President to raise the debt ceiling in an unlimited fashion. No limit to the debt ceiling raise. This is extraordinary. It’s extraordinarily wrong and you’ll see me on the floor of the Senate tomorrow filibustering this and saying ‘enough is enough, no more debt.’’
Christie: “I want to talk to the folks at home. I want to ask you: are fed up with how Washington taxes you? Are you fed up with how Washington wastes your money? Are you concerned like I am that the debt and deficits of Washington D.C. are endangering America’s future? I’ve got one more question for you then: Are you serious about this election? Because if you are, you need to elect someone who’s deadly serious about changing thisculture. I am deadly serious about changing this culture. I changed it in New Jersey. I’m deadly serious about doing this job the right way. I’m prepared, I’m tested, I’m ready and I want to make this our government. For the people who say we can’t do it, I say ‘hell no.’ We can do it together.”
Cruz: “You know everyone here talks about the need to take on Washington. The next natural question is: Who actually has done so? Who has stood up, not just to Democrats, but to leaders in our own party. When millions of Americans rose up against Obamacare, I was proud to lead that fight. When millions of Americans rose up against amnesty, I was proud to lead that fight. When millions of Americans rose up against Planned Parenthood, I was proud to lead that fight. If people are promising they’re going to take on Washington cronyism, you need to look to who’s doing it. In my family, my dad fled oppression in Cuba to come to America. Freedom is personal for me and I will always keep my word and fight for freedom.”
Fiorina: “You know every election we hear a lot of talk, we hear a lot of good plans, we hear actually a lot of good intentions, but somehow, for decades, nothing has really changed. What we need now is a proven leader who has produced results. That’s how you go from secretary to CEO, you lead and produce results. I will cut this government down to size and will hold it accountable, simplify the tax code, roll back the regulations that have been spewing out of Washington D.C. for fifty years. I may not be your dream candidate just yet, but I can assure you I’m Hillary Clinton’s worst nightmare. And in your heart of hearts, you cannot wait to see the debate between Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina. (laughter) I will tell you this: I will beat Hillary Clinton and with your vote and your support and your prayers, I will lead with the citizens of this great nation the resurgence of this great nation.”
Carson: “I just want to thank all my colleagues here for being civil, not falling for the traps. And I just want to thank the audience for being attentive and noticing the questions and noticing the answers. This is what I’m finding throughout America. People are waking up because it is going to be us who will determine the direction of our country. And, it was made for ‘we the people’ we are the ones who decide who we are. We should never give away the values and principles That made America into a great nation for the sake of political correctness.”
Trump: “Our country doesn’t win anymore. We used to win, we don’t win anymore. We lose on trade, we lose on ISIS, we lose with one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated of any kind. That’s our recent catastrophe with Iran. We don’t win. Let me give you one quick example. These folks, CNBC, they had it down at three, three and a half hours. I just read today in the New York Times $250,000 for a 30-second ad. I went out and said it’s ridiculous. Nobody, I could stand up here all night, nobody wants to watch 3-1/2 or three hours. It was a big sacrifice and I have to hand it to Ben. We called Ben , he was with me 100%. We called in, that’s it’s, we’re not doing it. They lost a lot of money. Everybody said it couldn’t be done. Everybody said it was going to be three hours, 3-1/2, including them. And in about two minutes I renegotiated it down to two hours so we can get the hell outta here. Not bad. Not bad. (raucous applause) And I’ll do that with the country. We will make, we will make America great again. And thank you everybody.” [Harwood: “Just for the record. Just for the record, the debate was always two hours.”] Trump: “That’s not right. That’s absolutely not right.” (crowd disapproval) “You know that that is not right.” Note: Even the media seems unsure about this.14,15
Rubio: Thank you. America doesn’t owe me anything. I have a debt to America I’ll never repay. This isn’t just a country I was born in. This is a country which literally changed the history of my family. My parents in this country were able to give me the chance to do all the things they never did. We call that the American Dream, although it’s built on the universal dream of a better life. The fact that it’s happened here for so many people throughout our history, that’s what makes us special. But now for millions of Americans it’s slipping away. And we have a government and leaders in government that are completely out of touch, and that’s why I’m running for President. Because we can’t just save the American dream, we can expand it to reach more people and to change more lives than ever before. And that’s why tonight I’m asking you for your vote.”
Bush: “America is at a crossroads. The D.C. politicians continue to make things worse. I have a proven record of success, thirty-two years in business and eight years as governor of the state of Florida. I will change the culture in Washington just as I changed the culture in Tallahassee. And I will do so in a way that will bring people together. We need a unifier, not a cynical divider-in-chief, and that’s exactly what I will do. Imagine a country where people are lifted out of poverty again. Imagine where the middle class can get rising income again. I know we can do this because we’re still the most extraordinary country on the face of the earth. Thank you.”
Huckabee: You know to a lot of people in the media this is just a great big game and we’re the players, and we come out here and do our thing. And sometimes we’re held up in contempt by people who write columns, but I guarantee you every person on this stage, there’s something deep inside of us that would cause us to give up our livelihoods and step out on this stage and fight for the people of America. I’ve got five grandkids. I do not want to walk my five grandkids through the charred remains of a once great country called America and say, ‘Here you do. Twenty trillion dollars of debt. Good luck making something out of this mess.’ And for those of us who are serious enough to run for President, think long and hard why we’re here and hopefully you’ll know: we’re not here for ourselves. We, honest to God, are here to get this country back on track. I know this, I certainly am. Thank you.”
Kasich: “I was on Morning Joe at a town hall and a young student stood up and said, ‘Can I still be idealistic?’, I said ‘Absolutely, you can still change the world.’ And the old inscription: ‘If you save one life, you’ve changed the world.’ Folks, we have a problem with the leadership in Washington, but I’ll tell you another problem. We need to rebuild our families. We
need to have stronger families. We need to know who our neighbors are. We need to come together as a country because we have to realize that America is great, not from the top down. Oh, yeah, we want to elect a good President. America is great from the bottom up, and the ‘bottom up’ is us. In our families, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, we will renew America if we work together. And I am totally confident that we will. And God bless America.”
Evaluation (from left to right on the television screen)
Kasich: His understanding that we can’t “grow our way out of demographics” is supported by his good work to balance the federal budget before he was governor of Ohio. Some would be wise to acquire his realistic approach. Also, he appreciates the problems which will arise with a legalization of marijuana from his work as governor dealing with drug addiction in his state.
Despite his success in dropping Ohio’s Medicare increase from 10% to 2.5%, there remains that lingering concern that beneath the smart moves to increase competition and cut costs, he would lean to the federal government for solutions regardless of the strings attached. He would be an adequate President if he could fix his “preaching” demeanor, somewhat out of the 1950’s,when he wants to make a valid point.
Alternatives: Secretary of Commerce, Director of OMB (Office of Management and Budget), head of EPA
Huckabee: There is no candidate with more integrity than the governor. It was exemplified by his relentless contention that lawmakers can’t simply write off the pain to seniors cause by them and their predecessors over decades to essentially defund Social Security. Christie and Paul let the reality of “the money is gone” override their sense of justice which Huckabee maintains. His wisdom extends to getting at the root cause of the Medicare budget (“We don’t have a health care crisis, we have a health crisis.”) Addressing the four main diseases he mentioned would cause less to be spent on treating diseases. He would be a good President, but would not win enough appeal in this post-Christian and essentially pagan U.S.
Alternatives: Secretary of Defense or State, Attorney General, head of Social Security Administration or the VA, Supreme Court justice (the Court needs more of his respect for the dignity of human beings), Director of FBI or CIA (he admits to being loyal to “following the rules”)
Bush: He has done a great job in Florida with Medicare and education (even though he wants it back to the states, there’s this sympathy for Common Core he must still shed). A good, sincere man attempting to win in a way no longer effective (see: https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/final-straw-for-the-jeb-bush-campaign/). His attempt at reinventing himself has backfired. He seems to have “just blended into the second tier of the Republican pack.”16
Alternatives: Vice-President (not his heart’s desire, but he could step in quickly), Director of OMB, Secretary of Commerce or State
Rubio: Intelligent, articulate, confident without being arrogant and the ability to not be intimidated. A 21st century version of John F. Kennedy? He has a sincere love for country over personal gain. He will not allow his pragmatic solutions to trample on the Constitution.
Alternatives: Secretary of Homeland Security, head the VA, Medicare or Social Security Administration, Head of USCIS (United States Citizens and Immigration Services)
Trump: He’s trying to tone himself down to be more palatable across all demographics. His confidence is admirable. In the unlikely event that he could salvage enough support from women and some minorities to win the election, insurance rate for china closets would skyrocket.
Alternatives: Lead a super PAC or the Border Patrol, Secretary of Commerce, head a project to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure
Carson: He’s one of our best chances to unify the nation by destroying political correctness and just perhaps, scale back our growing acceptance of entitlements (the bad type). Could replace the disaster called “Obamacare” and bring common sense to fiscal spending.
Alternatives: Vice-President, Secretary of HHS, Education, State, Interior (because he most likely believes in out stewardship of God-given natural resources) or Defense, lead the FBI or IRS
Fiorina: A Hillary Clinton-Carly Fiorina presidential debate would make millions on pay per view. Fiorina can neutralize all of Hillary’s perceived strengths with her direct approach, knowledge of foreign leaders, her non-self serving approach, respect for facts plus the scarce qualities of honesty and integrity. Her introduction of zero-based budgeting would expose the absurdities of the Left’s “give’em everything” policies.
Alternatives: a strong Vice-President, Secretary of State, HHS or Commerce, head of EPA or “energy czar”
Cruz: A second great member of this “40-something” class. His willingness to stand and be counted despite the odds creates a strong leadership charisma. Terriifc knowledge of the Constitution and economics. That he hasn’t forgotten his roots makes him a potential unifier.
Alternatives: Secretary of Homeland Security or Interior, Supreme Court justice, Director of OMB, Head of BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and any other federal job requiring a personality that can’t be intimidated
Christie: This writer is changing his view. While his attitude of just tell the truth about Social Security and expect current beneficiaries to get over it is till troubling, he seems to be wanting to eliminate those aspects of his strategy which remind us of his buddy-buddy post-Sandy scene with Obama. It would be good if he would be more concerned about citizen’s privacy rather than his love of meta-data to protect us at all costs.
Still, it is true that if he went head-to-head with Hillary Clinton in a debate, he would confidently expose the huge holes in her political philosophy. He would not be on the defensive regardless of her half-truths and his personality could convince enough swing voters to win the election.
Alternatives: Attorney General (he could step in tomorrow), Secretary of Defense or Transportation and bring sanity to EPA
Paul: A strong man of integrity who, for some reason, isn’t receiving the attention he deserves. As President, he would not stand for the rationalizations of the past or present. His fidelity to the Constitution would have made our Founding Fathers proud of him. His striving for truth and fairness should be desired in all eras. We just happen to be living in a messed up time.
Alternative: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Director of OMB
Oscar A. (Tony) Rubio is a writer who merges the lessons of history with current events to suggest a better path. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and believes that our national mood would be improved if we listened to more Big Band and Jazz as we look forward to the White House changing occupants on January 20, 2017. Tony blogs at www.cartaremi.wordpress.com and www.sportuoso.wordpress.com.
2 – “Dynamic scoring is a tool to give members of Congress the information they need to evaluate the tradeoffs in tax policy changes.
Dynamic scoring provides an estimate of the effect of tax changes on jobs, wages, investment, federal revenue, and the overall size of the economy.
Using dynamic scoring, policymakers can differentiate between policies that look similar using conventional scoring methods, but have vastly different effects on economic growth under dynamic scoring.” For the complete article, see “Dynamic Scoring Made Simple,” by Scott A. Hodge, http://taxfoundation.org/article/dynamic-scoring-made-simple, 2/11/2015.
3 – “France isn’t happy with Jeb Bush – and the White House just got caught in the middle,” by Greg Jaffe, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/10/29/the-french-arent-happy-with-jeb-bush-and-the-white-house-just-got-caught-in-the-middle/, 10/29/2015.
4 – “It became clear that the party was split between two groups, the Bolsheviks (‘majority’) and the Mensheviks (‘minority’).”
“The Bolsheviks claimed the name after getting their way in a wrangle over the editorial board of the Party newspaper Iskra (‘the Spark’ – which was to ‘start a big blaze’). The Mensheviks unwisely accepted the appellation, though they were actually more often in the majority. Both groups were enthusiasts for the destruction of capitalism and the overthrow of the Tsarist regime, but the Mensheviks, led by Martov, favoured a large, loosely organised democratic party whose members could agree to differ on many points. They were prepared to work with the liberals in Russia and they had scruples about the use of violence. The Bolsheviks, led by Lenin, were hardline revolutionaries who would not have known a scruple if it bought them a drink.” From “The Bolshevik-Menshevik Split,” by Richard Cavendish, http://www.historytoday.com/richard-cavendish/bolshevik-menshevik-split, November 2003.
5 — But what is really an “entitlement”? See “Entitlements” vs. “Unearned Outlays” and Their Impact on the Federal Budget,” http://ohioconservativereview.com/2014/02/17/entitlements-vs-unearned-outlays-and-their-impact-on-the-federal-budget/, 2/17/2014
6 – “5 Years Ago Bernie Madoff Was Sentenced to 150 Years In Prison – Here’s How His Scheme Worked,” by Stephanie Yang, http://www.businessinsider.com/how-bernie-madoffs-ponzi-scheme-worked-2014-7, 7/1/2014… Ironically, this same issue of Business Insider had an article entitled “End of Social Security” with the sub-heading “Leaked Evidence Stumps Obama and Stuns Retirees”
7 – “Petraeus sentenced: 2 years probation; $100K fine,” by Theodore Schleifer, http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/23/politics/david-petraeus-sentencing/, 4/23/2015.
8 – “For Rubio, real estate deals marred personal finances,” by http://www.cbsnews.com/news/for-rubio-real-estate-deals-marred-personal-finances/, 6/8/2015.
9 – “We have not found evidence that the company had a direct financial or contractual relationship with Carson, or that he was paid for the promotional videos. One speech earned a fee, and three resulted in contributions to a Carson charity.”
“Carson has minimized his role with Mannatech since the National Review began raising questions in January. That has contributed to the confusion over the details of his history with Mannatech. Initially, he said he gave a speech 10-plus years ago. During the debate, he said that he “did a couple of speeches” for the company. Eventually, after the debate, he acknowledged he also shot unpaid videos,” from “Ben Carson’s claim he did not have ‘an involvement’ or ‘formal relations’ with Mannatech,” by Michelle Ye Hee Lee, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/11/04/ben-carsons-claim-he-did-not-have-an-involvement-or-formal-relations-with-mannatech/, 11/4/2015.
10 – “What is quantitative easing,” http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/03/economist-explains-5, 3/9/2015.
11 – “Blimp on the loose: What does it do?”, by Lolita C. Baldor, http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/10/29/blimp-on-the-loose-what-does-it-do, 10/29/2015.
12 – “The phrase “a thousand points of light” was popularized by US president George H. W. Bush, and later formed the name of a private, non-profit organization launched by Bush to support volunteerism. citation fromThe Los Angeles Times (January 9, 1995). “Bush’s Points of Light found a little dim”. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 15, 2012, and posted on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand_points_of_light
13 – “A method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a “zero base” and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one.”
“ZBB allows top-level strategic goals to be implemented into the budgeting process by tying them to specific functional areas of the organization, where costs can be first grouped, then measured against previous results and current expectations.” from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/z/zbb.asp.
14 – “Donald Trump, Ben Carson Warn Boycott If CNBC Debate Lasts More Than Two Hours, by Charlie Spiering, http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/15/donald-trump-ben-carson-warn-boycott-if-cnbc-debate-lasts-more-than-two-hours/, 10/15/2015.
15 – “Donald Trump vs. John Harwood on length of CNBC debate,” by Lauren Carroll, http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/nov/02/donald-trump/donald-trump-v-john-harwood-length-cnbc-debate/, 11/2/2015.
16 – “Bush Struggles to Galvanize a Familiar Donor Base,” by Rebecca Balhaus and Christopher S. Stewart, The Wall Street Journal, 10/23/2015
Four years ago, I came across the first tax levy I had ever seen with no expiration date. This seemed very audacious so I re-read it several times and finally realized it was a clever attempt to slip an endless money grab which had no accountability. It was the 2011 Cincinnati Public Schools tax levy. Even its title had a gentle, euphemistic slant to it: “CPS Seeks a Little ‘Stability.’”1 In response to skeptics, the article added that “Levy supporters, however, counter that the district has and will continue to be responsible and this type of levy is needed to make sure the district stays fiscally stable.” Right. Fortunately, the majority voted against this. It was not a case of being against schools, but against the unending, non-reviewable nature of the proposal.
But ever since, my radar has been tuned for similar attempts at unaccountable money grabbing. This year, there are at least two such issues in southwestern Ohio and a few school issues elsewhere in the state which are asking for funding without time limits.
Cincinnati Parks, Issue 22
Let’s start with Cincinnati again. Ballot Issue 22 provides for a 1-mill increase in real estate taxes to be used for the numerous parks in the city. The mayor would submit a list of capital projects to the Park Board who are not permitted to delete any of them without the mayor’s approval.2 Fine.
How could anyone vote against city parks? Easy, when it becomes permanent with no oversight and as part of the city charter. As Marian A. Spencer wrote: “A property tax levy should not be in the city charter. Voters should have an opportunity to renew )or deny) any tax levy in future years.”3
Charters/constitutions are outlines of how a jurisdiction will govern itself. It lists the non-negotiable philosophies by which a group of people ranging from a small community to a country shall operate. It is not a place for specific strategies. For example, freedom of religion is a non-negotiable and is in the Constitution. How it shall be protected is not specified as times and the means to carry this out will change. (Same goes for a balanced federal budget, desirable but not necessarily appropriate for all future situations. See OCR article: “We Need a Balanced Budget, But NOT a Balanced Budget Amendment.”)
Pierce Township Continuing Fire and Life Squad Levy
In November, 2014 a levy combining both capital needs and on-going expenses was defeated, not so much because the millage was a 47% increase, but because it was “for a “continuing period of time.” The township board of trustees regrouped and originally submitted a plan for a ten-year levy. Unfortunately, it was discovered that a change in state law prohibited ten-year levies for fire levies.4
Faced with the choice between a 5-year levy or a fifth continuing levy to go with the four currently in place (1986, 1990, 2000, 2006) or a fixed term. The choice was for another continuing levy. The voters are being reassured that “Continuing levies are often used to fund civic services, including finding for schools, or health and human services, including emergency response services.” In addition, it is reminded that the trustees can always terminate a continuing levy.5
The question for voters in this part of Clermont County is: Will you accept yet another continuing levy, because the existing ones cannot be adjusted for inflation? This levy would be the first in nine years and represents a 37% increase over the effective rate of the existing ones.
[This also raises two questions for future consideration whether or not this levy passes: 1) Is regrouping all continuing levies into one too risky because many voters might be confused into thinking it would be a mammoth increase when instead it’s just a consolidation? 2) Millage is a percentage based on property values. When continuing levies are said to be inadequate because of inflation, the logical conclusion is that the cost of civic services has increased faster than property evaluations!]
“Continuing” School Issues
There are likely to be others, so please check your local ballot.
1) Ashland County –West Holmes Joint Vocational SD: “The ACWHCC Board of Education has voted to put a 1 mil levy renewal on the Nov. 3, 2015ballot. This represents no new taxes for the community. The levy has been consistantly [sic] renewed every three years since it was first passed fifteen years ago and, therefore, the Board of Education has opted to present it on this ballot as a continuing levy… The money generated from this levy represents 20% of the district’s total budget. It is used for everything from salaries to equipment used in our educational labs as well as whatever is needed to keep the doors open such as utilities, security, etc.”6
2) Chippewa Local SD, item 2 of a combined bond issue and tax levy: “Levy an additional property tax to provide funds for the acquisition, construction, enlargement, renovation, and financing of general permanent improvements at a rate not exceeding 0.5 mill for each one dollar of tax valuation, which amounts to five cents for each one hundred dollars of tax valuation, for a continuing period of time?”7
3) Oregon City SD tax levy: “Current operating expenses; 3.95 mills, additional, continuing period of time.”8
4) Ottawa Hills SD Bond Issue and Tax Levy: “Renovating & improving school facilities; 30-year $13,070,000 bond, 5 mills; Acquisition, construction, enlargement of permanent improvement; 5.35 mills, additional, continuing period of time.”8
5) Upper Sandusky Exempted Village School District (Wyandot, Crawford and Marion counties): “An additional tax for the benefit of Upper Sandusky Exempted Village School District for the purpose of permanent improvements [ballot’s emphasis] at a rate not exceeding 2 mils for each one dollar evaluation, which amounts to twenty cents ($0.20) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for a continuing period of time, commencing in 2015, first due in calendar year 2016.”9
Continuing funding may have its place. The informed voter will know when it’s appropriate.
Oscar A. (Tony) Rubio is a writer who merges the lessons of history with current events to suggest a better path. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and believes that our national mood would be improved if we listened to more Big Band and Jazz as we look forward to the White House changing occupants on January 20, 2017. Tony blogs at www.cartaremi.wordpress.com and www.sportuoso.wordpress.com.
1 – article by Amanda Amsel, http://citybeat.com/cincinnati/article-24212-cps_seeks_a_little_%E2%80%98stability%E2%80%99.html, 10/19/2011.
2 – “Soapdish: Cincinnati parks deserve better than Issue 22,” by Casey Coston, http://www.soapboxmedia.com/features/102715-our-parks-deserve-better-than-issue-22.aspx, 10/27/2015.
3 – “Parks levy not good government,” opinion by Marian A. Spencer, Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/8/2015.
4 – “Pierce Twp. Must rethink fire levy due to state statute,” by Sheila Vilvens, http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/clermontcounty/2015/04/16/pierce-twp-must-rethink-fire-levy-due-state-statute/25872245/, 4/16/2015.
Image: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons – cc-by-sa-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
We Can Honor the Grassroots Money and the Constitution as We Reform Campaign Finance
Campaign finance reform. This phrase seems to have become synonymous with progressive policies like top-down government mandates and financial restrictions. It’s time to change that.
Ahead of the 2016 election cycle, the issue of money in politics and the resulting common frustration with the outsized influence held by mega-donors will increasingly come into focus. Conservatives across the country, particularly here in Ohio, have an opportunity to highlight a bottom-up approach to a problem more and more Americans are recognizing.
I recently had a chance to chat with a prominent conservative politician, and suggested to him that we needed to focus on making small donors a bigger part of the campaign finance equation, and he actually finished my sentence by saying, “… because unlike big donors, they do not expect anything in return.”
What a message to be able to convey to Americans disenfranchised by and disengaged from the political process! Instead of hearing only progressive ideas about restricting donors, conservatives should offer a strong response on empowering donors and providing tax credits to encourage greater participation.
This is why I was so disappointed to hear that Ohio’s political contribution tax credit was threatened last legislative cycle (and why I was so glad to hear it was kept intact). As one of the few states that provides a carrot for the small contributions that can fuel victories, conservative Ohioans should be upholding and strengthening this outstanding provision–not seeking to tear it down.
Making Grassroots Money Matter
Sadly, the current state of affairs is that the top 100 political donors in America contribute almost as much as 4.75 million small donors combined, and we see their influence on the political system. Whether it’s the president’s biggest backers (like Solyndra) getting sweet deals from the government, the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world leading the charge for amnesty, or Michael Bloomberg spending big to assault your constitutional rights, the ones with the biggest checks dominate the discussion.
That will change–not by limiting rights of others–but by incentivizing the ability of smaller contributors to make an impact and thereby increasing the total pool and balancing the equation. That is why we should encourage giving amongst average citizens by providing a $200 tax credit for their small campaign contribution to the candidate of their choice. I firmly believe that our republic is stronger when the government is focused on the good of the whole and not simply the self-interested mega wealthy.
Ohio has a great story to tell. Grassroots candidates have an opportunity to make the case to those for whom a check would be otherwise hard to write. The candidates and the individuals benefit, by participating AND receiving a tax credit and, more importantly, our democracy benefits.
With the presidential campaign now in full swing, I look forward to hearing the candidates’ responses to the question of how to deal with the problem of mega money influencing policy makers. In my view, conservatives would do well to have an answer–an answer consistent with conservative ideals of respecting the Constitution and encouraging participation in our democracy.
John Pudner ran conservative political efforts for more than two decades and was credited for winning a number of underfunded efforts that helped Republicans take over both the Virginia and Alabama legislatures for the first time. He ran a church outreach effort for Bush-Cheney 2000 in Ohio and 15 other states. In 2014, Pudner was hired by Dave Brat for his long-shot campaign to unseat Eric Cantor. The following November, he announced he would turn his attention to conservative solutions to money in politics as the Executive Director of Take Back Our Republic.